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Auckland Festival Announces Chief Executive

Media Release for Immediate Release

Auckland Festival Announces Chief Executive

Auckland Festival today announced the appointment of David Inns to the newly created position of Chief Executive. He will work alongside Festival Director David Malacari to lead the team behind the City’s biennial celebration of Arts and Culture.

David Inns will join Auckland Festival next February, having spent six years as the Chief Executive Officer of Wellington’s New Zealand International Arts Festival.

Chairman of the Auckland Festival Trust, Richard Waddel, says the appointment of a Chief Executive is a significant step forward in the growth and development of Auckland Festival.

“This position adds a new strategic dimension to Auckland Festival, and brings us into line with the best management practice of Arts Festivals worldwide,” Waddel says.

“David Inns has a wealth of experience and expertise in Arts management, a passion for the Arts, and an in-depth understanding of the social and cultural value Auckland Festival brings to our city.”

Festival Director David Malacari says the new appointment is an exciting development in the evolution of Auckland Festival.

“I am extremely proud of the inspiring, challenging and entertaining programme the Auckland Festival team will bring New Zealanders in 2009,” he says.

“Having a Chief Executive on board will ensure we continue to build on our successes, and increase the size and scope of Auckland Festival.

“I have enjoyed a strong collegial relationship with David Inns during his time at the International Festival, and am delighted to welcome him to Auckland Festival.”

Auckland Festival 2009, a spectacular 18-day programme of theatre, dance, music and the visual arts, kicks off on 5 March, 2009. The programme for the Festival’s fourth incarnation was announced on 12 November, and tickets are now on sale.

Festival Highlights include a modern fairytale from theatrical master Robert Lepage, the New Zealand debut of spell-binding Japanese company Ishinha, a dazzling contemporary circus, and a free world music party – that will see part of Queen Street closed to traffic.

The Festival’s rich line-up of New Zealand work is headlined by a number of world premiere seasons, including; Black Grace Dance Company’s much anticipated Gathering Clouds - Peace, Poverty, Dreams & The Pacific, and Kate Parker and Julie Nolan’s magical adaptation of Shaun Tan’s The Arrival, the Festival’s major New Zealand commission for 2009.

For the most up-to-date information, visit www.aucklandfestival.co.nz.


David Inns has been Chief Executive of the New Zealand International Arts Festival Trust since 2002. In this role he has led the Festival team to stage the biennial New Zealand International Arts Festival (2004, 2006 and 2008), Lexus Song Quest (2005 and 2007) and other projects including the Earth From Above exhibition presented in Wellington, Singapore, Noumea, Wanaka and Tauranga and the establishment of the new Wellington Jazz Festival which takes place in 2009.

During his years as Chief Executive, David has ensured the financial success of the Festival, grown partnerships with funding partners, trusts and organisations, and overseen the development of audience accessibility through education and regional programmes.

David has extensive networks with many arts organisations within New Zealand and internationally and, together with the artistic directors, was instrumental in securing some of the most sought after performing arts events for the Festival. He has also had extensive involvement in the development of new New Zealand works.

David has more than 20 years experience in senior arts administration roles, internationally and within New Zealand. He was Executive Director of the Taranaki Arts Festival from 1998-2002 and Technical Director of Assembly Theatre, Edinburgh, Scotland, part of the annual Edinburgh Festival, from 1995-2002. He was part of the team which secured WOMAD for Taranaki and was the event’s Technical Director for 2003, 2005 and 2007.

Prior to taking on the role of Chief Executive, David had been involved with the New Zealand International Arts Festival as Technical Director and previously as Education and Community Programme Manager. He has a background in teaching and was a primary school principal.
David has had a lifelong involvement and passion for the arts, initially sparked as a child when he helped his father, Brian Inns, at the New Plymouth Operatic Society. He held a number of positions within the Society and is a Life Member. David also served as Chairman of the Bowl of Brooklands Trust (New Plymouth).

David has two adult children who both work in the arts, and an Auckland-based partner.

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