New Co-CEO / Executive Director announcement
17 April 2023
Footscray Community Arts is excited to announce the appointment of Bec Cole as the new Co-CEO / Executive Director, working alongside current Co-CEO / Artistic Director, Daniel Santangeli.
Bec is a champion of creating access to contemporary art and performance for everyone, having worked extensively in local government across leadership, strategic and creative programming roles.
With significant experience in community engagement and policy development spanning public art, galleries, performing arts, creative industry development, major events and activity centre settings – Bec is excited to get started.
“I am thrilled to be joining Footscray Community Arts during a time of transformative change. I am keen to offer my contribution to a place that has a sustained and positive impact on the cultural landscape of the western suburbs and far beyond.”
With deep connections to the western suburbs, Bec previously led the Arts & Culture Team at Wyndham City Council, leaving a ten-year legacy of community led and engaged practice.
More recently, she has worked at Monash Council in a strategic role as Creative Industries Lead; as the Director of Latrobe Regional Gallery from 2020-2022; and led the establishment of Gippsland Performing Arts Centre which opened in March 2022.
Co-CEO / Artistic Director, Daniel Santangeli believes Bec’s unique and proven experience will be key to the continued growth of Footscray Community Arts, which passed a landmark 100,000 visitors annually for the first time in 2022.
“I’m grateful to be working alongside Bec as Co-CEOs of Footscray Community Arts. This is an extraordinary appointment – we’re lucky to have Bec’s experience and knowledge as Footscray Community Arts continues to evolve its reputation for supporting underrepresented communities and presenting outstanding contemporary art experiences in Melbourne’s west.”
This is further echoed by Julia White, Chair, Footscray Community Arts.
“Footscray Community Arts has a lot of exciting opportunities underway, and the Board were keen to secure a strong, values-driven leader to embark on this next stage.
“In 2023 we will launch our Disability Action Plan, develop our new 4-year strategic plan, and continue work on Stage 1 of our precinct development work – it’s a busy year, and sets the scene for our future success.
“We are thrilled to have Bec joining us and look forward to working alongside her and Daniel.
“I’d also like to pay special tribute to Jane Crawley, who aided the Board with the ED recruitment. With Jane’s assistance, we undertook a very thorough process, and we recognise that many applications came from strong leaders representing Footscray Community Arts’ communities of focus – partly as a result of a recruitment process tailored to remove barriers to applying.”
Bec is proudly palawa and is looking forward to building on the important legacy of Footscray Community Arts when she commences in the role on May 10.
“The voices and values that Footscray Community Arts champions resonate deeply with me, as do ways of working that prioritise First Nations knowledge and practices through the guidance of the Indigenous Advisory Group and Elders in Residence Uncle Larry Walsh and N’arweet Dr Carolyn Briggs.” — Bec Cole.
“My thanks to the Board and Chair Julia White for this opportunity, and to my predecessor Robyn Gawenda who has done some outstanding work to lay strong foundations for our continued success.”
Footscray Community Arts welcomes Bec Cole!