Plenary 2 – Alice Nash

Alice Nash

Executive Director, Arts Investment
Australia Council for the Arts

Abstract. Alice Nash, the long-standing Executive Producer and Co-CEO of Back to Back Theatre from 2003 to 2020 and now the Executive Director, Arts Investment at the Australia Council for the Arts, stewarding all direct investments made by Council, speaks about how value was created in her time and in collaboration with others at Back to Back Theatre and how this links inextricably to her work supporting and promoting artistic practice and the value of public arts investment at Council. 

Alice provides concrete examples of the ways of thinking and working that she and her long-standing colleagues developed at Back to Back Theatre, including in collaboration with theatre academics, to support and in service to the exemplary artistic practice of artists with intellectual disabilities. This includes investing in time, space, creative investigation, and pursuing every possible avenue to increase reach and impact for audiences and community members and potential public and private investors. 

Alice posits and believes that public investment in the arts is crucial in supporting the development of civil society.

Portrait of Alice Nash, Executive Director of Arts Investment, Australia Council

Alice Nash is Executive Director of Arts Investment at the Australia Council for the Arts, stewarding all direct investments by Council, including strategic multi-year and project investments.

Prior to joining Council, across 18 years Alice was the Executive Producer & Co-CEO of Back to Back Theatre in the regional centre of Geelong. One of Australia’s most loved and critically acclaimed companies, and one of the most important cultural exporters, Back to Back Theatre company has at its heart an ensemble of six actors with intellectual disabilities who, in collaboration with others, create and perform all their works. The company also works extensively in community, education and screen and is a leading advocate nationally and internationally for exemplary disability arts practice.

Alice was a founding member and, from its inception through the next nine years, Deputy Chair of Theatre Network Australia, the Australian peak body for the small-to-medium theatre sector and independent performance artists. She has served on the Trust of the Geelong Performing Arts Centre and on the Victorian Government’s inaugural Creative State Advisory Board. She has contributed to numerous policy processes to support the development of robust practices for arts and disability across Australia.