Emily Sexton is a curator, producer and festival director from Melbourne. She is the outgoing artistic director and co-chief executive of Next Wave. Her four-year tenure in the role saw the biennial arts festival introduce a radically revised new model, enjoy increased funding and expand from a youth arts focus to reach a broader, much larger audience. Emily launched the Blak Wave indigenous arm of the festival as well as its accompanying, critically acclaimed book, and has curated and launched two Next Wave magazines. Recently, Emily has been involved in a programming and strategic advisory capacity for the City of Gold Coast and City of Melbourne.
Uniting Emily’s work is a passion for the great political and social potential of the meeting between outstanding art and curious minds, and her curatorial interests lie in contemporary art that’s provocative, challenging and relevant. Emily’s work demonstrates the role an artistic director can play in contextualising bold, challenging art; she has proven that this approach can consistently increase audiences and enthusiasm for contemporary art and artists.