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Obsessed with the new.
Adamant about context.
Devoted to extraordinary.
In love with locality.
Conscious of time.
Next Wave is art made now.

Development, festivals, new art experiences.


A world of extraordinary opportunity, massive dreams realised, cultural norms disrupted and new dialogues in contemporary arts practice and emergent culture.


Next Wave leads a new creatively-driven generation through extraordinary development and presentation opportunities that empower emerging artists to challenge our understanding of what art can be.


1 Enable emerging artists to create outstanding new art
2 Create meaningful shared experiences online and in unique programming
3 Expand our strategic capacity and responsiveness by diversifying income streams
4 Lead the Australian arts sector in providing outstanding work experiences for emerging arts workers
5 Change the future of Australian art by empowering cultural and ability diversity across all our work


Next Wave creates art for an unknown future.

We strive to cultivate enthusiasm for art, artists and a changed world. We believe in the energising force of a new context, environment or idea as key to transformation. We seek change within the professional practice of individuals, as a pathway to the development of society. We see collaboration as necessary resistance, a mirror and the primary source of the critical rigour we strive to instil in all emerging artists and arts workers. We believe in risk as the crucial ingredient in every artistic endeavour, and with clarity of intent we think anything is possible. We support what is attempted over what is achieved. Multiple, radical perspectives are celebrated; complexity is embraced. We maintain a focus on the edges of society as the place from which the new must emerge. Curiosity is our guiding force, and it leads us in a relentless pursuit to ask the question “who’s not here?”

Our biennial contemporary art festival is the final stop on a life-changing artistic development process. Uniquely for Australia this process works within a two-year cycle. Our curation places specific ideas, people and contexts in dialogue with each other, to create an intervention within broader debates. Next Wave explores why humans come together, and is a festival that introduces a community of brave people who are tackling their most complex thoughts, sharing those ideas for the very first time. Our city of Melbourne, on the country of the Kulin Nation, is the place from which we look out to national and international artists and ideas.

Next Wave’s Artistic Director takes responsibility for the atmosphere in which emerging practitioners create work. The challenge is that this must manifest in studios, rehearsal rooms, in whole cities and communities across Australia and beyond. And in collaboration with all of Next Wave’s people, unparalleled art experiences meet a wild passion for the new.

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