Midsumma Futures

Participants Announced

Midsumma Futures is a nine-month development and mentoring program for early-career artists and culture-makers.

This program provides a queer context in which twelve participants will develop their practice. It includes access to professional mentoring, group workshops and contact with like-minded (or radically different-minded) peers.

Midsumma Futures 2017 – 2018 brings together a diverse range of emerging cultural practitioners, creating a unique space for the intersection of ideas and modes of practice. Artists from across disciplines - including dance, visual art, film, theatre, drag and design - have been accepted into this program after a highly competitive application process.

For 30 years Midsumma has been fertile ground for queer culture-makers, forging careers for some of Australia’s most respected cultural and artistic voices. Midsumma Futures provides the opportunity for today's generation of early-career artists to advance their career, deepen their practice, gain exposure and lead the future of queer culture.

The following 12 applicants were successful for the inaugural year of Midsumma Futures. Over coming months these applicants will be matched with a mentor, and deepen their practice through workshops and development opportunities.


Adolfo Aranjuez
Youtube: Adolfo Aranjuez

Adolfo Aranjuez

Mentored by Jack May (VIC)
Adolfo Aranjuez is the editor of Metro, Australia’s oldest film and media periodical. He is also the subeditor of Screen Education and a freelance writer, speaker and dancer. Adolfo previously edited for Voiceworks and Melbourne Books, and his nonfiction and poetry have been published in Right Now, The Lifted Brow, The Manila Review, Eureka Street, Peril and Scum, among others. He has performed and done arts work for the Melbourne Writers Festival, the Emerging Writers’ Festival, the National Young Writers’ Festival, Next Wave, Midsumma, Express Media, Scribe, Liminal, Ascension, Small Press Network, The Channel, National Ethnic and Multicultural Broadcasters’ Council, and various schools and city councils. He is one of the Melbourne Writers Festival’s 30 Under 30.

Alisha Abate

Alisha Abate

Mentored by Millie Cattlin (VIC)
Alisha Abate is an emerging artist living and working in Melbourne. She is a recent graduate student from Sculpture and Spatial Practice at the Victorian College of the Arts, and has recently begun exhibiting her work outside of the educational institution.
Alisha's primary sculptural concern is how the living body inhabits space, alongside the reciprocal relationship of how space is constructed.  alishaabate.com

Archie Barry
Vimeo: Archie Barry

Archie Barry

Mentored by Gordon Hall (USA)
Archie Barry is an interdisciplinary artist living and working in Melbourne. Their artwork takes form primarily in live body-centred performance and video, and is concerned with presenting the gendered and politicised aspects of embodiment by creating imaginative and often uncanny encounters with gender ambiguous bodies. In a society that sanctions two discreet, consistent gender identities and often fails to comprehend, acknowledge or represent people with fluid or nonconforming genders, Barry’s work suggests the possibilities that exist between what is and what could be. Embedded in their philosophy is an honouring of fiction as a generative and emancipatory tool that can allow other ways of living to be experienced and shared.

Christopher Fieldus
Vimeo: Christopher Fieldus

Christopher Fieldus

Based in Melbourne, Christopher is an emerging dramaturg and drag artist, whose practice is interested in shorter forms of theatre – vaudeville, drag, burlesque, circus, dance, lyrical theatre and nightclub performance – evoking female, feminist, camp and queer sensibilities. Specialising in text composition and research, he has most recently helped develop and tour Justin Nott’s Can’t Be Tamed, appearing at the Melbourne Fringe Hub in 2016 and at The Bakehouse Theatre for Adelaide Fringe 2017. He is creator and performer of singing cabaret queen Ms CeCe Rockefeller, who made her debut in fantastically tragic melodrama Estate of Affairs at The Butterfly Club in April 2016, and whose work is made to open a space for sincerity and sentimentality on the contemporary drag scene.

Jack Fitzgerald
Youtube: Jack Fitzgerald

Jack Fitzgerald

"Jack's love of video stems from both the desire to stimulate and entertain, as well as an unhealthy desire to control and 'edit' life into a logical, meaningful sequence." – Unsolicited insight, armchair psychiatrist Jack Fitzgerald.
An awakening, less binary approach to gender was natural after grappling with the difficult questions of human plurality: Do I wanna be a starving artist, or buy a new phone every 18 months? Would I rather create something artful or entertaining? Is my opinion of this wine void because I’ll order a bacon and cheese Whopper Value Meal later?
Jack (he/him/his) is of-all-trades, but loves producing video maybe most. His next project is webseries Into the Void, a drag queen space opera like no other.

Justin Nott

Justin Nott

Mentored by Emma Valente (VIC)
Justin Nott is a Melbourne-based queer theatremaker, director and performance artist whose work explores experientialism, subversion and formal play. He hopes through his work to change the world for the better - even if just a smidge.
His work is always challenging, occasionally enjoyable, and always pretty.

Kate Lefoe

Kate Lefoe

Mentored by Glendyn Ivin (VIC)
Kate Lefoe graduated with a Masters of Film and Television from the Victorian College of the Arts in 2016. Supported by an Ian Potter Cultural Trust Grant, her graduate film Somersault Pike has started on the festival circuit. Awarded a place in the International Filmmaking Academy Master class in Italy in 2016, Kate spent 3 weeks learning from award-winning directors Danis Tanovic and Claudia Llosa alongside film graduates from all over the world. Kate’s queer short film Plunge screened at 45 international festivals and scooped up a handful of awards. Made on a scholarship to China, Kate’s award-winning documentary short Age, Height, Education about the Shanghai marriage markets resonated with international audiences. Kate is interested in creating content with strong female protagonists that explore themes of identity and loss. katelefoe.com

Mick Klepner Roe

Mick Klepner Roe

Mentored by Kate Sulan (VIC)
Mick Klepner Roe is a performance maker who completed their Masters of Directing for Performance at the VCA in 2016. Mick directed Our Lady of the Flowers by Embittered Swish which premiered at La Mama Courthouse in October 2016 to a sold out season. Mick loves being a part of Embittered Swish who had an exhibition at firstdraft gallery in February this year and is part of the Next Wave Kickstart Helix program for 2017/2018. Mick has worked with: Scratch and Sniff, Tammy Anderson, Patrick McCarthy, The DIG Collective, Alicia Frankovich, Amos Gebhardt, KAGE, Transgenre, Myriad and Union House Theatre among others. Mick is obsessed with the in-between.



Parisa is an aspiring film maker. In her past life Parisa worked in the fashion industry but her curiosity for the art of story-telling resulted in a change in career in 2014. Since then she has been working on a number of productions which have given her a great overview of the ins and outs of the film and TV industry. Parisa takes inspiration from themes that challenge the status quo and has a love for exploring characters living in the cracks of societies. Nothing rises Parisa’s blood pressure faster than social injustice. In an attempt to mitigate her fury she utilises her amateur knowledge in silversmithing, and a hammer to bring a stubborn piece of metal into submission.

Raina Peterson
Youtube: Raina Peterson

Raina Peterson

Mentored by Mariaa Randall (VIC)
Raina Peterson is a multidisciplinary artist who's work spans theatre, comedy, dance, cabaret, and the written and spoken word. They are one of Australia's very few professional practitioners of mohiniyattam (classical Indian dance of Kerala), and are co-director of Karma Dance Inc., teaching staff at Studio J Dance, board member of Asian-Australian literary magazine Peril, and one-third of anti-racist cabaret act the Ladies of Colour Agency. One of their latest works is the sell-out, critically acclaimed contemporary Indian dance production In Plain Sanskrit, which premiered at Footscray Community Arts Centre in 2015 and toured to Auckland in 2016. They have performed at the Melaka Arts and Performance Festival (Malaysia), Q Theatre (New Zealand), The Famous Spiegeltent (Melbourne), the Victorian Arts Centre, and Woodford Folk Festival (Queensland), and their work has been published on Peril Magazine and ArtsHub.

Yvette Turnbull

Yvette Turnbull

Yvette Turnbull is a set and costume designer for contemporary live performance, theatre and events. A graduate of the Bachelor of Production (Design), from the Victorian College of the Arts (2013). Her more recent credits include; site design for Arts Centre Melbourne for their ASIA TOPA 2017 Program. Designer for Blind Spot, directed by Daniel Santangeli for Melbourne Fringe 2016 (Winner of Best Performance). Co-designer with Jonathon Oxlade for Picasso and His Dog, by Lemony S Puppet Theatre, directed by Sarah Kreigler. Set & Costume Designer for The Theory of Everything directed by Thomas Quirk for Theatre Republic, Brisbane Festival 2015. Co-Designer for Virgins and Cowboys, by Morgan Rose Aldrich and directed by Dave Sleswick (Motherboard Productions), FLIGHT Festival, Theatreworks 2015 and site design for Dance Massive at Artshouse 2015.  www.yvetteturnbull.com

Zoe Brinnand
Vimeo: Zoe Brinnand

Zoe Brinnand

Mentored by Zoe Coombs Marr
Zoe Brinnand is a Melbourne based emerging theatre maker, with a special interest in queer stories. Her first two plays, The Ultimate Lesbian Double Feature and The Adventures of Yoni 1 & Yoni 2, have been very well received across Australia, being staged at Midsumma, Sydney Gay & Lesbian Mardi Gras, and Brisbane Powerhouse's LGBTI festival, MELT. Zoe’s short play Queerachy was recently part of Short + Sweet Sydney and Short + Sweet Queer 2017, and the first scene of her next play, My Big Fat Lesbian Greek Wedding was selected as the winner of Gaswork's 2017 Midsumma Playtime Staged Readings. "Brinnand’s voice as a playwright is a disarming combination of light-hearted on the one hand and political and bold on the other" - Time Out Sydney.


Emma Valente

Emma Valente

Mentoring Justin Nott
Emma is a freelance director, dramaturg and lighting designer. She is the Co Artistic director and Co CEO of feminist theatre company THE RABBLE.
Emma’s recent directing credits include: Joan (TheatreWorks/ Wuzhen Festival), Cain and Abel (The Substation), In The Bleak Midwinter (Malthouse Theatre), Sappho: In 9 fragments (Aspen Island Theatre Company), Deathly/ Death/ Dead (Director/ Curator – Malthouse Theatre, Melbourne Writers’ Festival), Cain and Abel (Belvoir Theatre/ The Substation), Frankenstein (Malthouse Theatre), Room of Regret (Melbourne Festival, Theatre Works), Story of O (Neon Festival, Melbourne Theatre Company, THE RABBLE), Orlando (Melbourne Festival, Helium Program - Tower Theatre Malthouse – Brisbane Festival, DARK MOFO), Special (Carlton Courthouse), The Bedroom Project (Linden Gallery), Cageling (CarriageWorks – 45 downstairs ), Salome: In Cogito Volume III (CarriageWorks). For THE RABBLE she is currently working on Ulysses, Unwoman and Candy House.
Recently Emma has been the dramaturg for Squash! (Meg Wilson), Moral Panic (Rachel Perks), I sat and waited for too long (PWA, Oliva Satchell), Schmaltz (Daniel Schlusser/ Malthouse Theatre), Calamity! (Zoey Dawson/ MTCNEON), Welcome to Nowhere (Daniel Keene/ Angus Cerini/ Fleur Kilpatrick/ Morgan Rose/ Zoey Dawson - Monash University/ Tower Theatre), Podium Dances (Arts House/ FOLA) and Bright World (Arthur, Theatre Works).
Emma teaches Dramaturgy and Performance Making at Monash University, is artist in residence at MTC and teaches devising at the Victorian College of the Arts.

Glendyn Ivin

Glendyn Ivin

Mentoring Kate Lefoe
Glendyn Ivin is one of Australia’s leading directors in television, film and commercials. He was recently listed in The Sydney Morning Herald as one of Australian televisions "Most Powerful and Influential".
Glendyn came to attention with the short film CRACKER BAG, winning the Palme d’Or in 2003 at the Cannes Film Festival. Glendyn’s first feature film, LAST RIDE, starred Hugo Weaving, premiered at the Toronto International Film Festival and won Best New Director at The Abu Dhabi Film Festival and the Jury Prize at the Rome International Film Festival.
For television, Glendyn’s credits include the tele-movie BEACONSFIELD, PUBERTY BLUES Series 1 and 2 for which Glendyn was set up director, winning the 2012 AACTA award for Best TV Drama Series. In 2014 Glendyn directed the 7-part World War I drama GALLIPOLI and in 2015 THE BEAUTIFUL LIE, nominated for the 2016 Logie Award for Most Outstanding Drama and Nine AACTA Awards, including Best Mini Series.
In 2016 Glendyn directed THE SEVEN TYPES OF AMBIGUITY (Episodes 1 and 2) starring Alex Dimetriades and Hugo Weaving.
Glendyn is currently in post production on SAFE HARBOUR, a 4 x 1 hour mini series.

Gordon Hall

Gordon Hall

Mentoring Archie Barry
Gordon Hall is an artist based in New York. Hall has exhibited and performed at SculptureCenter, Brooklyn Museum, Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago, Whitney Museum of American Art, Movement Research, EMPAC, Art in General, Temple Contemporary, Night Club Chicago, Kent Fine Art, Foxy Production, Hessel Museum at Bard College, White Columns, Wysing Arts Centre, Abrons Arts Center, and Chapter NY, among others. Hall's first institutional solo show will take place at the MIT List Center for Visual Arts in the spring of 2018, and Hall will be in residence at the Brodsky Center for Books and Editions at Rutgers University in the fall of 2017. As the organiser of the Center for Experimental Lectures, Gordon Hall has launched lecture and performance programs at MoMA PS1, Recess, Interstate Projects, The Shandaken Project at Storm King Art Center, and at the Whitney Museum of American Art, producing a series of lectures and seminars in conjunction with the 2014 Whitney Biennial. Hall's writings and interviews have been featured in a variety of publications including V Magazine, Randy, Bomb, Title Magazine, Walker Art Center's Artist Op-Ed Series, What About Power? Inquiries Into Contemporary Sculpture (published by SculptureCenter, 2015), Documents of Contemporary Art: Queer (published by Whitechapel and MIT Press, 2016), and Theorizing Visual Studies (Routledge, 2012). Hall was awarded a LMCC Process Space Residency, a Triangle Arts Foundation Residency, the LMCC Workspace Residency, and attended the Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture, ACRE, and the Fire Island Artist Residency. Hall holds an MFA and an MA in Visual and Critical Studies from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago.

Jack May

Jack May

Mentoring Adolfo Aranjuez
Jack began dancing at the age of 13 where his interests in freestyling created a number of opportunities for him to represent the ACT at national dance competitions. He moved to Melbourne in 2010 to pursue a career in the performing arts and has since then started what he hopes to one day become and empire. 2015 saw Jack accomplish a life long dream – the opening of Momentum Arts Studios his very own dance school. His passion for teaching and love for dance have fused to create a place where others can learn and develop their skills alongside this highly sort after Melbourne based Choreographer.
Jack has had a immense performing career that has seen him work on a number of large scale events such as the Footy Show Grand Finale Players Review, Australian Hip Hop Champs, Grounded, Short and Sweet Dance Festival, amongst many more. His choreographic achievements have seen him co-choreograph a number of productions for contemporary company Collaboration the Project. He was hand picked to teach at Victorian Dance Festival in 2016/14, he was assistant to world-renowned choreographer Erica Sobol on her teaching tour in Guam, and has taught workshops around Australia and most recently at a number of Studios in Japan. Jack believes his capacity to connect with students is his greatest strength, he loves working with all ages and abilities and strives to create a classroom environment where everyone feels comfortable to step outside their box and discover what they are truly capable of.

Millie Cattlin

Millie Cattlin

Mentoring Alisha Abate
Millie Cattlin, Melbourne-based architect, is co-director of These Are The Projects We Do Together, an organisation committed to developing experimental ideas in the fields of art, architecture and education through the design and operation of three key projects – Testing Grounds, Siteworks and The Quarry. Their team has a hands-on approach with a generous and caring attitude towards community, infrastructure and the public realm.

Sponsor: Stomping Grounds

Applications for Midsumma Futures 2018 - 2019 will open early 2018.

Supporting early-career queer artists and culture makers

Midsumma Futures is a nine-month development and mentoring program for early-career artists and culture-makers.

This program provides a queer context in which participants can develop their practice, and includes access to professional mentoring, workshops and likeminded (or radically different-minded) peers.

For 30 years Midsumma has been fertile ground for queer culture-makers, forging careers for some of Australia’s most respected cultural and artistic voices. Midsumma Futures provides the opportunity for today's generation of early-career artists to advance their career, deepen their practice, gain exposure and lead the future of queer culture.

Applications close at midnight on Tuesday 9 May 2017.

Applications for Midsumma Futures 2017 - 2018 have now closed.
Successful applicants will be announced early June 2017.

Learn more about the program by following the tabs below.

Who is it for?

Midsumma Futures brings together a diverse range of emerging cultural practitioners, creating a unique space for the intersection of ideas and modes of practice. Artists from across disciplines as well as producers, socially engaged practitioners, community leaders, thinkers and culture-makers of any kind are encouraged to apply.

This program is for people who identify as queer or LGBTQIA+ in some way. We strongly encourage applications from people who are Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander, culturally or linguistically diverse, or living with disability.

Only a small group of participants (up to 10) will be accepted into the program.


What do you get out of it?

Midsumma Futures consists of three components:

  1. Five dynamic workshops that will challenge, invigorate and strengthen your practice through peer-to-peer exchange as well as presentations and activities delivered by established practitioners. Workshop themes will address the intersection of contemporary practice with queer history, the role of queer cultural practice now, sustainable practice, self care and tools to talk about your work. Other content of the workshops will be devised in response to the needs of successful participants. All workshops will take place at Siteworks, located on Saxon St, Brunswick, Vic. See timeline below for dates.
  2. A mentorship with an established practitioner. You can apply with a confirmed mentor attached to your application OR you can ask Midsumma to match you with a mentor upon successful entry into the program. Midsumma has a diverse network of local, national and international industry professionals - we'll work closely with participants to match them with a mentor who has the appropriate lived and professional experience. Mentorships will kick off in August 2017 and run through to March 2018. Mentors will be paid $800 for the equivalent of 10 hours of mentorship.
  3. Engagement with Midsumma Festival. You'll be given a VIP pass to Midsumma Festival 2018 to experience the intersection of ideas, events and people that only a context like Midsumma Festival can provide. And if you want to produce an event as part of Midsumma Festival 2018 or 2019, we'll provide free registration and on-going production advice.

The emphasis of this program is on developing practice, so you're not expected to produce an outcome as part of your involvement in Midsumma Futures.


Criteria and selection process

The assessment panel will be looking for how your application matches the following key criteria:

  • Clarity and timeliness: Is it the right time for a mentorship in your practice? Are you clear about what you intend to get out of this program and a mentorship?
  • Impact: What impact would this program have on your practice?
  • Commitment: Are you able to commit to the workshops and hours required for the mentorship?

The Selection Panel is made up of a diverse range of industry professionals and Midsumma staff, including:

  • Jax Jacki Brown: writer, performer and disability advocate
  • Jacob Boehme: Yirramboi Creative Director; dance and theatre maker
  • Ryan Hale: Darebin Arts Producer; Tilde board member
  • Karen Bryant: Midsumma CEO
  • Daniel Santangeli: Midsumma Program Manager and independent theatre maker



  1. Applications close: Tuesday 9 May 2017, midnight
  2. Successful applicants announced: Early June 2017
  3. Workshop #1: Friday 14 - Sunday 16 July 2017 (3 days): 9am – 5pm, plus evening activities
  4. Mentorships Commence: Early August 2017
  5. Workshop #2: Friday 15 September 2017: 9am – 5pm, plus evening activities
  6. Workshop #3: Friday 27 October 2017: 9am – 5pm, plus evening activities
  7. Midsumma Festival 2018: Sunday 14 January – Sunday 4 February 2018
        (three weeks; participants expected to attend a minimum of three events)
  8. Workshop #4: Wednesday 31 January 2018: 9am – 5pm, plus evening activities
  9. Mentorships Conclude: Early March 2018
  10. Workshop #5: Friday 16 March 2018: 9am – 5pm, plus evening activities



Midsumma is committed to making our programs accessible to all people.

View transcript of the introductory Auslan video (pdf).

Alternative format applications: If writing is a barrier for you, you can respond to the main section of the application (part B) via audio recording or video. If appropriate, use Auslan in your application video (we'll arrange to get it professionally interpreted for the selection panel).

Talk to us: If you would like to discuss your accessibility requirements, please contact our friendly staff. Call 03 9296 6600 or email [email protected]. Midsumma is National Relay Service ready: contact the National Relay Service on 133 677 or via relayservice.com.au, then ask for 03 9296 6600 during business hours.



So you're serious about applying? Read the following to help you prepare your application:

  1. Application Drafting Tool. You can't save your online application as you work on it, but you can write your draft in the Word version of the application which can be downloaded here. Once you're ready to submit, simply cut-and-paste your answers from the Word version of the application into the online application.
  2. Support Material. This may be a letter of support, examples of past projects and documentation that demonstrates projects that you are about to embark on. You can provide a maximum of three (3) pieces of support material and they must be provided as URLs (e.g. As links to your Dropbox account or website).
  3. Prepare your CV or bio. Max one page. You can copy and paste your bio/CV into your application or provide a weblink.
  4. Prepare you mentor's CV or bio (if you are applying with a confirmed mentor). Max one page.
  5. Prepare your profile. If successful, you will be featured on the Midsumma website. Please provide:
      ☆ Up to 3 images of yourself or images that best capture your practice
            (300 x 300px, 72dpi, jpeg; or alternatively, URL only)
      ☆ A video of your previous work or that is indicative of your practice (optional, 5 mins max, URL only)
      ☆ A short bio for yourself (max 1600 characters, including spaces)
  6. Check the criteria. See the "Criteria and selection process" tab above.
  7. Speak to Midsumma's friendly staff. We strongly encourage you to discuss your application before applying. Call 03 9296 6600 or email [email protected]. Midsumma is National Relay Service ready: contact the National Relay Service on 133 677 or via relayservice.com.au, then ask for 03 9296 6600 during business hours.

Apply online here

Applications for Midsumma Futures 2017 - 2018 have now closed.



Here you will find answers to some of the most Frequently Asked Questions.

Can I apply as a group?

Yes. Ensembles, artist run initiatives and small groups working together on a project can apply. However, there are some considerations:
  ☆ A maximum of three group members can attend the workshops
        (preferably the same group members for each workshops)
  ☆ The entire group would be matched with a mentor; each group member would not receive their own individual mentor
  ☆ Please nominate one group member to lead all communications with the mentor and Midsumma


What's required of my mentor?

Your mentor is required to:
  ☆ attend an introductory/briefing meeting with yourself and a Midsumma staff member (1 hour) in August 2017
  ☆ attend a debrief with yourself and a Midsumma staff member (1 hour) in March 2018.
  ☆ commit to 10 hours of interaction with their mentee. Mentors are paid a one-off fee of $800
    (this fee was calculated according to NAVA standards of $80 per hour for 10 hours).


Does my mentor need to live in the same city as me?

No. The mentorship can take place online and/or over the phone. Midsumma does not contribute towards travel costs.


How do I know if I'm the right fit for the program?

You are right for this program if you:
  ☆ are in the first 10 years of your practice
  ☆ identify as queer or LGBTQIA+ in some way
  ☆ want to develop your practice through mentorship, engagement with new ideas and interaction with peers from across disciplines.

Still unsure? Contact Midsumma on 03 9296 6600 or email [email protected].


Can I be mentored by a group?

Yes. Please note, individual group members would not be paid a fee each; the entire group would receive $800 for 10 hours of interaction. If you are planning on being mentored by a group, please discuss with Midsumma staff.


Do I have to have a project that I'm working on?

No. There is no expected outcome as part of this program. However, you will probably get more out of the program if you are simultaneously working on a project.


I live outside of Melbourne, will Midsumma cover my travel costs to workshops?

No, Midsumma is unable to pay for travel or accommodation costs.


Midsumma Futures is made possible by the generous support of Stomping Ground, Love Machine and NAB.