Arts shock: director leaves centre

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Hannah Semler
IN a shock announcement today, it has been revealed to that the founding director of Belconnen Arts Centre, Hannah Semler, will leave on July 6.

Semler is tight-lipped about the departure, telling “CityNews”,   “I am taking leave from Saturday, July 7 and will be attending to a host of long outstanding personal matters that one just does not get to when running a wonderful, but very full on program here.”

Known as an unsinkable workaholic who has seen the arts centre full around the clock, six days a week since it opened in 2009, her reign has not been without stress.

Though sometimes charged with being unsympathetic to Canberra’s specific culture, Semler comes from an artistic family and is exceedingly  well-connected into the arts world of regional Australia.

Before taking up her post here in 2009, she was the executive officer for the Bathurst-based community organisation Arts OutWest, whose activities include everything from holding  funding and grant-writing workshops in Mudgee to setting up an  Art and Health program in the newBathurst hospital.

Meantime, the board and staff, also tight-lipped, will throw a farewell party on Tuesday  evening to “thank Hannah, and share in her many achievements of the past three years as director of Belconnen Arts Centre”.

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Helen Musa
“CityNews” arts editor

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