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Craig Cooper

Director Arts, Director Auckland

Craig Cooper has worked in the arts sector for almost 20 years in both Australia and New Zealand in a variety of roles.

As a producer and programmer he has worked at Sydney Opera House, Christchurch’s Court Theatre and more recently he headed the arts development programmes at Auckland Live as associate director arts programmes and later as programming manager. He also led the establishment of Auckland Fringe in 2009 where he was a founding board member.

Craig also has extensive experience in the council and funding sector as a cultural development officer, adviser and assessor. During his time with Sydney’s Inner West Council, he established the Newtown Entertainment Precinct and laid the groundwork for Sydney Fringe Festival.

He was also senior programme adviser with Creative New Zealand, holding the national theatre portfolio and has been commissioned for a variety of consulting roles, most recently by Ministry for Culture and Heritage to undertake a post-earthquake study of the venue requirements for Christchurch city in 2014.

In 2014 Craig was appointed to the role of festival director of Christchurch Arts Festival for the 2015 and 2017 festivals, events that played a key role in the cultural recovery of the city after the 2011 earthquakes. In 2015 he was appointed by the Taranaki Arts Festival Trust as artistic director of both the International Arts Festival and Right Royal Cabaret Festivals.