Megan Donnolley charts her eclectic career path.
Artistic Director, Fuse Medway Festival (2013)
Fuse Medway Festival is an annual outdoor site specific festival that takes place in June throughout the Medway towns in Kent. Being someone who hails from the “New World”, as the supermarkets would have it, I’m overly excited about being able to programme historical sites like Rochester’s Norman castle! Fuse not only presents spectacular international events, but is also dedicated to fostering the local arts scene.
Co Director, Comica: London International Comics Festival (2009 to present)
I am also a co-director of Comica Festival. The festival has two annual Comiket independent fair days, an annual festival and presents exhibitions, talks, symposiums and events throughout the year. Comics and graphic novels are going through a period of massive growth in the UK and Europe at the moment and is a really interesting time to be part of the global resurgence of comics. Directing and commissioning festivals is particularly gratifying, because I can work across all art forms and gives me the opportunity to support artists and contribute to the community, whether it’s defined geographically or defined by common interests!
Freelance Consultant (2006 –2009)
Since moving to London from Sydney, I’ve worked as a consultant, producing and curating across platforms; from community arts events, a contemporary Opera for the Liverpool Biennial, a burlesque water ballet extravaganza for Whoopee, dance, solo & group visual art exhibitions, performance art events and public art projects, to creating art installations, and devising and teaching a screen printing textile programme for Artbeat.
Consultant Producer, Cracker, Sydney Comedy Festival (2004-2005)
I was Producer and Programmer of the inaugural festival, which is Sydney’s largest comedy festival held annually in venues throughout the inner city. Following the festival I then toured Cracker produced shows: Bob Downe’s ‘ibob’ and Flacco and Sandman’s ‘Bingo in Siberia’, to the Melbourne International Comedy Festival.
Founder, Artistic Director, Producer, Sydney Fringe Festival and Freelance Producer (1994-2003)
I founded the inaugural Sydney Fringe Festival after working in the music industry, where it became apparent there was a shortage of venues for up and coming musicians and realised that the same lack of places to present new work applied to emerging artists in other disciplines. The fringe was open access, but also programmed and commissioned new work, and produced large scale outdoor events. I had a great time creating events like the ‘Nude Night Surfing Competition‘ ( yes, surfers, surfing in the nude!) and the iconic event on the gay & lesbian calendar, ‘The Drag Race Meet’.
During this time I also worked freelance at ‘off peak’ times of the year, producing and directing festivals and events, including the Kings Cross Theatre Festival and Fashion Week Festival Launch.
Music Agent (1990 – 1993)
As an agent at The Harbour Agency, covering the spectrum of musical genres, I represented over 50 bands, notably Crowded House, Paul Kelly and YothuYindi. Subsequently, I worked for Sydney’s live music venue The Rose Shamrock and Thistle, programming acts like Nick Cave, World Party and Lucinda Williams. I also regularly performed in independent dance groups, theatre collectives and sang in a number of bands.
Megan Donnolley is Artistic Director of Fuse Medway Festival.