Queensland’s most dazzling celebration of LGBTIQ+ arts and culture will have added sparkle in 2019 with the appointment of prominent theatre maker Emily Gilhome as MELT: Festival of Queer Arts and Culture Guest Director.
Shining the spotlight on queer culture, the 10-day festival will promote visibility and inclusivity among the LGBTIQ+ community when it returns to Brisbane Powerhouse for a fifth year from 28 June to 7 July 2019.
Ms Gilhome is a MELT triple-threat, having been involved with the festival since its inception as a performer, producer and audience member. She will bring her passion and experience, working closely with the Brisbane Powerhouse team, to help curate 2019’s diverse program.
“I am passionate about the local arts scene and in the past decade have come across so many great queer artists that when Brisbane Powerhouse Artistic Director Kris Stewart offered me the Guest Director role, it was really a no-brainer to jump on it,” Ms Gilhome said.
Brisbane Powerhouse Artistic Director Kris Stewart said it was important to ensure the creative force driving MELT: Festival of Queer Arts and Culture was from Brisbane’s queer community.
“Each year the Guest Director represents and speaks authentically with the voice of Brisbane’s LGBTIQ+ artists so in 2019, we’re delighted to welcome Emily Gilhome,” Mr Stewart said.
“MELT is a mirror of modern Queensland; vibrant and accepting. Brisbane Powerhouse has been a home for the LGBTIQ+ community since we opened our doors and we’re excited the festival continues to grow, almost taking on a life of its own by attracting more than 8,500 attendees last year.
“We’re passionate about gender balance and equity in artistic leadership and are so excited to welcome Emily to the team. Her work always speaks so beautifully around sexual diversity, equality and celebration of difference.
“We know Emily will continue to build upon the strong legacy set by Festival Director James Lees who has done an extraordinary job driving the vision of MELT and we look forward to continuing to work with James on future projects.”
Artists eager to get involved in next year’s festival have until November 26 to submit their ideas and pitches for burlesque, theatre, cabaret, music, visual arts, forum, panel and conversation pieces.
Works must have an LGBTIQ+ theme; be written, directed, created or performed by a member of the LGBTIQ+ community; or be of particular interest to the community.
Ms Gilhome began her career as a performer, and in 2007 created Oscar Production Company to promote Brisbane artists and cultivate an inclusive creative community. Amongst Oscar’s countless productions, Ms Gilhome co-created the gender-bending cabaret series BOY&GIRL.
“MELT belongs authentically to the local community and is Brisbane Powerhouse’s most creatively diverse event, not only across genre, but featuring works on the largest scale through to small shows that are personal and honest intended for an intimate environment,” Mr Stewart said.
MELT: Festival of Queer Arts and Culture returns to Brisbane Powerhouse from June 28 to 7 July 2019. Artist submissions close 9am November 26 with the program launched in early April 2019.
About MELT Festival
Conceived in 2015 by Brisbane Powerhouse, MELT: Festival of Queer Arts and Culture is an annual celebration of LGBTIQ+ voices. Each year’s program is unique and features a diverse mix of burlesque, theatre, cabaret, music and visual arts; spotlighting local, national and international artists and performances. Audiences are drawn from the LGBTIQ+ community, their allies and performing arts patrons and continue to swell with the 2018 festival attracting 8500 attendees.
About Emily Gilhome
Emily is a producer and director with an unwavering passion for bringing local artists to the fore of Brisbane’s entertainment scene. She created Oscar Production Company in 2007 as a hub for queer and local creatives, producing and directing working including the Queensland premiere of Broadway musicals Spring Awakening (2011) and Next To Normal (2012) at QPAC, as well as [title of show] at Brisbane Powerhouse (2010/2011) and Noosa Long Weekend Festival (2011). She also produced The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee at Roundhouse Theatre, awarded the 2008 Matilda for Best Musical, and The Last Five Years (2007) at the Judith Wright Centre of Contemporary Arts. Most recently, Emily oversaw CGEN (2017/18), Queensland’s largest youth performing arts event involving over 1800 young artists and professionals, and produced The Renegades roving entertainment at the 2018 Brisbane Festival Treasury Brisbane Arcadia precinct.