Queensland’s most dazzling celebration of LGBTIQ+ arts and culture will have added sparkle in 2019 with the appointment of prominent theatre maker Emily Gilhome as MELT: Festival of Queer Arts and Culture Guest Director.

Shining the spotlight on queer culture, the 10-day festival will promote visibility and inclusivity among the LGBTIQ+ community when it returns to Brisbane Powerhouse for a fifth year from 28 June to 7 July 2019. Emily is a MELT triple-threat, having been involved with the festival since its inception as a performer, producer and audience member. She will bring her passion and experience, working closely with the Brisbane Powerhouse team, to help curate 2019’s diverse program. “I am passionate about the local arts scene and in the past decade have come across so many great queer artists that when Brisbane Powerhouse Artistic Director Kris Stewart offered me the Guest Director role, it was really a no-brainer to jump on it,” Emily said.

Emily began her career as a performer, and in 2007 created Oscar Production Company to promote Brisbane artists and cultivate an inclusive creative community. Amongst Oscar’s countless productions, Ms Gilhome co-created the gender-bending cabaret series BOY&GIRL. Brisbane Powerhouse Artistic Director Kris Stewart said it was important to ensure the creative force driving MELT: Festival of Queer Arts and Culture was from Brisbane’s queer community. “Each year the Guest Director represents and speaks authentically with the voice of Brisbane’s LGBTIQ+ artists so in 2019, we’re delighted to welcome Emily Gilhome,” Kris said. “MELT is a mirror of modern Queensland; vibrant and accepting. Brisbane Powerhouse has been a home for the LGBTIQ+ community since we opened our doors and we’re excited the festival continues to grow, almost taking on a life of its own by attracting more than 8500 attendees last year.

“We’re passionate about gender balance and equity in artistic leadership and are so excited to welcome Emily to the team. Her work always speaks so beautifully around sexual diversity, equality and celebration of difference. We know Emily will continue to build upon the strong legacy set by Festival Director James Lees who has done an extraordinary job driving the vision of MELT and we look forward to continuing to work with James on future projects.”

Artists eager to get involved in next year’s festival have until November 26 to submit their ideas and pitches for burlesque, theatre, cabaret, music, visual arts, forum, panel and conversation pieces. Works must have an LGBTIQ+ theme; be written, directed, created or performed by a member of the LGBTIQ+ community; or be of particular interest to the community.

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