We are delighted to announce today that our Director Ian Scobie has been recognised in the Queen’s Birthday 2017 Honours List as a Member (AM) in the General Division of the Order of Australia for "significant service to the performing arts through the production, management and promotion of festivals, theatre and performance events." One of only 69 South Australians awarded today in the Queen's Birthday 2017 Honours.
Ian Scobie is one of the outstanding arts administrators of his generation. His long and varied career has encompassed both an extended period within the not-for-profit sector, notably leading the Adelaide Festival, and almost twenty years pulling off the improbable - managing an independent arts management company specialising in the highest quality work from both Australia and around the world.
He has been deeply involved in mounting major events, most notably one of the world's finest music festivals - WOMADelaide, and also in high level international conferences and market places. Ian's contribution to the arts in Australia and their relationship with the rest of the world is both unique and of the highest order. He is renowned for his generosity of spirit, high ethical standards and informal diplomacy on behalf of the arts in Australia.
After a brief stint working for an oil company, Ian joined the Adelaide Festival in 1983 and remained for the next fourteen years. He rapidly progressed from a role as Operations Coordinator to that of Operations Manager and in 1988 was appointed Administrator. From 1994 to 1997 he was General Manager.
In a Festival where the Artistic Director generally only remained for one festival, Ian was for many years the inspirational glue that held the whole enterprise together as well as the continuing face of the Festival with a huge range of stakeholders - Board, Government, sponsors, donors, artists, arts organisations etc. During this period he was also Chairman of the Confederation of Australian International Arts Festivals - recognition fom his peers of his stature within the heady world of international festivals.
In 1997 Ian was co-founder of Arts Projects Australia (APA), an independent arts and events manager and producer, From 1999 he was sole Director and continues to be so today. Arts Projects Australia was and remains a pioneering enterprise; there was no equivalent company on the Australian arts scene when it was founded and it continues to operate on a level beyond that of any similar organisation in this country. In essence the company has managed to produce, tour and present artists and events that are essentially non-commercial in impulse while doing so without subsidy.
On one hand APA produces major events like WOMADelaide, the Adelaide Film Festival, the Australian Performing Arts Market, ASSITEJ, Melbourne's Moomba Festival, and on the other it both imports and exports high quality performing arts companies and individuals. In the former capacity the Company has delivered extraordinary artists and companies like Peter Brook, Pina Bausch Tanztheater Wuppertal, Philippe Genty, Kneeghigh Theatre, Laurie Anderson, Groupe F and Goran Bregovic to festivals and venues around the country. In the latter he has been a key influence in creating pathways for Australian work overseas - most notably with the ground-breaking tours of Company B Belvoir's production of Cloudstreet to London, Zurich, Dublin, Washington and New York.
Ian is for many of the most influential artists and arts managers around the world the go-to face of the arts in Australia.