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    BEMAC Discussions: Can Multiculturalism Be Taken Seriously in the Arts? (Live and Streamed)

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    Event description

    Join us on Monday May 27th for the next instalment in the BEMAC Discussions series: Can multiculturalism be taken seriously in the arts?

    How has the idea of multiculturalism changed in the context of the arts and music in Australia since the first official national multicultural policies were implemented in the late 1970s? Is it still relevant? Is it just an institutionally condoned form of tokenism? Has it become synonymous with the diminished practices of community arts? Does it allow for meaningful and respectful engagement? Can it be taken seriously in the context of arts programming and acclaim? To what extent are you measuring diversity for what you program or fund and why? Is it because of funding pressure or it is because this is what represents us?

    The panel will feature:

    Sebastian Flynn, who has worked as a major festival event director, largely in the multicultural arena for over 20 years, including as BEMAC's Programming Coordinator (2000-2005) and Managing Director of the National Folk Festival, Canberra (2009-2012). This has been a challenging and rewarding experience that has allowed him to develop and maintain an ongoing awareness of cultural diversity and its benefits, as well as to explore and maintain his interest in music as a former professional musician (violinist). 

    Jenae Tien Jenkins, author, award winning podcast producer and a seasoned media professional with over a decade of experience, showcasing her expertise across various platforms. With six years of dedicated service at the Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC), Jenae has honed her skills in producing radio and live events, film directing, online digital reporting, radio presenting, and scriptwriting. Jenae is the founder of a social enterprise - 'Expand Your Library' and 'Expand Your Mind Consulting.' Through these ventures, Jenae collaborates with organisations and the education sector, offering workshops , resources and advisory services on cultural engagement , allyship and diversity and inclusion initiatives. Her focus extends to working closely with multicultural and First Nations communities, crafting strategies for inclusive and genuine co-designed content.

    Zulya Kamalova, an ARIA award winning and highly respected artist, producer and communicator. She has rich experiences covering many areas – from art creation, direction and production to promotion, management, and administration. Over her career she has made much multifaceted and critically acclaimed work. Hailing from Tatarstan in central Russia, she is known for her original music inspired by her Tatar and Australian identity and has led numerous inter-disciplinary creative projects. A “Distinguished Artist of Tatarstan”, Zulya has produced ten albums to date solo and with The Children of the Underground and has toured internationally. Zulya’s music has been featured on compilation albums released by Putumayo (USA); BBC Radio (UK); ABC Classics’ and many others. She is the Director of The Boite (Victoria).

    James Emmanuel McKinnon
    , a Filipino Australian producer who grew up on Wathuarong country in Western Victoria, and now lives and works in Naarm/Melbourne. James is deeply passionate about arts education and its ability to empower individuals, artists, and communities. His artistic and educational practices centre cultural safety and intelligence, decolonisation, and social justice. James graduated with honours in Ethnomusicology where he completed protest music in prisons during the Marcos regime in the Philippines. James completed his Masters in Arts and Cultural Management and tutors in Music Entrepreneurship at the Melbourne Conservatorium of Music at the University of Melbourne. James has produced, stage managed and designed for independent, student, and community art. He is a freelance composer, podcaster and musician, and outside of work they are a photographer keen on telling visual stories of people, wildlife, and land. He is Creative Lead for MAV (Multicultural Arts Victoria).

    Moderator: Eyal Chipkiewicz. Eyal has extensive experience in curatorial, technical and leadership roles in the arts, community and for purpose sector. In Australia since 2008, he has made strides as a cultural development agent, entrepreneur, producer, curator, live streaming technician and sector leader. In 2020-2021, he led The Boite (Victoria) through the COVID pandemic and their remarkable “Adapt not cancel” program in response to the shutdown of the creative industries. An active advocate for the rights and inclusion of migrant communities, he established arts organisation Casa Cultura in 2014, has been at the helm of poetry collective and independent publisher A Voz Limpia since 2016 and is a certified Spanish-English interpreter and translator. He is dedicated to driving cultural development initiatives that bring people together to collaborate, addressing social issues collectively and creatively, with the arts and creative industries at the core. He is the Producer at BEMAC.

    For those who are not able to physically attend the sessions, BEMAC Discussions will be live streamed on BEMAC’s Facebook page

    Proudly Presented by BEMAC in partnership with QMusic.

    BEMAC Discussions: Can Multiculturalism be taken seriously in the Arts?
    6:30pm, Monday May 27th
    Followed by BEMAC Discover at 8:00pm
    Queensland Multicultural Centre
    102 Main St, Kangaroo Point
    Free to attend.

    BEMAC Discover:

    Join us on Monday May 27th for BEMAC Discover, an open mic night to celebrate the importance of art, music and creativity in our lives and our community. This space will focus on sharing and testing out new work! We invite artists from all backgrounds and languages to showcase and share! Entry is free… bring your instrument, poem, monologue or dance and sign up to take part in the open mic at the door on arrival!

      There is very limited parking around the QMC. We encourage all guests to use public transport. QMC is only a 2-minute short walk from the Holman Street Ferry Terminal and bus route 234. You can find more info about how to get to QMC at

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