Pippa Budge (l) and Martina Mrongovius (r) started in their new roles in Lake Mac this week. Picture: Supplied.
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Internationally recognised art professionals to share vision in Lake Mac

Two new leaders in the already thriving Lake Macquarie arts community will make it their mission to drive innovation and creativity to help cement the city as a regional arts powerhouse.

Lake Macquarie City Council Arts, Culture and Tourism Manager Jacqui Hemsley announced on Friday that the newly created position of Arts Producer – Lake Arts Precinct had been filled by highly experienced arts professional Martina Mrongovius.

As well as having a storied science and educational background, Martina was also the Creative Director for the Center for the Holographic Arts in New York, and has worked in the arts industry in Europe and Melbourne.

In the new role, Martina will oversee Lake Mac’s art activities and venues including the Museum of Art and Culture (MAC) at Booragul.

The formerly Melbourne-based Pippa Budge has also commenced a new role as Curator of the Multi-Arts Pavilion (MAP) at Speers Point Park which is due to open later in the year.

Pippa has previously worked at Museums Victoria, the Australian Centre for the Moving Image, the National Gallery of Victoria and the Museum of the Moving Image in New York.

“New, fresh ideas, change and inclusion are major drivers for a successful creative City, and Lake Macquarie is no different,” Jacqui said.

“Both Pippa and Martina are ambitious and excited by the potential here in Lake Macquarie, and with their professional and contemporary international experience, these new professionals will lead a new direction for MAC, MAP and the opportunities that the Lake Arts Precinct will offer in promoting Lake Macquarie as a cultural destination.”

Martina added that she would focus on developing programs and projects that supported professional practice and strengthened arts networks throughout the City and region.

“My career has focused on light art, emergent media and projects on waterways,” she said. “This new role is an opportunity to bring these passions together and support innovative arts that consider both nature and technology.”

Meanwhile, Pippa said she wanted to work with local, emerging artists to create new works that celebrated Lake Mac and connected with contemporary art practices.

“I see MAP as an amazing opportunity for international, national and local artists to develop their work, network and reach,” she said. “In particular, I’m looking forward to working with the Awabakal people and using MAP as a place to support community to share knowledge and stories.”

“I believe art can be a powerful tool for connecting people and creating change and growth within communities, and I look forward to bringing this vision to life at MAP.”