A small team doing big things.
Alicia Rodriguez Leggett
Alicia has a background that includes broad international experience in the visual arts world. Born in Cuba, Alicia grew up and has lived much of her life in New York City. She became interested in fine art when studying Art History as an undergraduate at Rutgers University.
A few years working as an investment banker sent her back to school for her Masters in 17th Century Spanish Art at Syracuse University. Alicia then went on to fill several creative industry roles: manager of a commercial arts publication, art dealer, and commercial gallery director (Director of Arcadia Gallery of Fine Arts in New York).
Alicia met her Australian husband NYC and the couple eventually decided to move to Australia to raise their family. After 2 years in Sydney the family moved to the Orana region. Now her focus is on regional arts and expansion and advocacy for artists from the Orana region. Her focus is on brokering opportunities through strategic partnerships and projects; enriching and supporting our communities with the development of the arts; and growing audiences for all art forms.
ATSIA Programs Manager
Paris Norton is a Gamilaroi woman who grew up in the regional town of Coonabarabran. She spent her schooling years in Brisbane but returned to her hometown in 2009. For the past few years, she has worked closely with the community as a facilitator for many arts projects driven by community and local government. Paris is a self-taught photographer and a practicing multi-media artist and who values her tradition and brings new dialogues to Indigenous issues through her arts practice and her work.
Portia joined Orana Arts in April 2016. She was program officer at the NSW Writers’ Centre in Sydney, as well as General Manager for Sydney-based publishing and events platform Seizure, before deciding to pursue her interest in regional arts development in the most direct way she could: moving to a regional town and developing and supporting cultural projects there.
Now based in Mudgee, Portia is the Mudgee Readers’ Festival general manager and occasional collaborator with Mudgee Underground. Through this work she is proud to have facilitated a regional-urban cultural exchange: bringing her Seizure collaborators and other creatives to regional arts events and partnering regional artists with them for Sydney-based events.
Strategic Projects and partnerships
Michelle Hall comes to Orana Arts after starting her arts career in Brewarrina, before becoming a RADO in Outback NSW. She then travelled the road to Sydney, becoming the first cultural officer for Local Government NSW, the peak body for Local Government, advising all local governments in NSW in regards to cultural policy, projects and infrastructure.
After 8 years , she moved from Clarence St to Surry Hills, working as Client Manager for a number of ATSIA, Theatre and Community Partnerships organisations at the Australia Council for the Arts. From these roles, Michelle brings extensive experience in policy, strategy and project management to Orana Arts alongside a national perspective of the arts industry and in-depth knowledge of Local Government.
Since leaving the Australia Council Michelle has worked with nationally recognised companies such as Euraba Artists and Papermakers, DADAA WA, Beyond Empathy and Somebody’s Daughter Theatre (Vic).
After developing and implementing the successful Left Field Project 2, Michelle is now focused on our Creative and Social Investment (CSI) Program, which is being rolled out in Wellington and Cessnock in 2018, as well as developing our next strategic plan.
Cultural Projects Officer
Danielle Andrews is a Gamilaroi women who grew up in Coonabarabran NSW. After high school she moved to Bathurst to study a Bachelor of Communications for Theatre/Media. Throughout her time at university she gained experience through a number of theatre and film roles. In particular she was a set designer the musical production He Said, She Said, and musical director for devised verbatim piece The Girl who Cried Wolf. For her major work at university Danielle held the role of dramaturg, AV designer, and also performed in the contemporary dance theatre piece Clara Jane.
Danielle has performed in theatre shows and television productions throughout her life; her credits include the musical Wicked as the character Pfanne. Danielle has also been fortunate enough to work on set of ABC funded series The Angus Project, and an SBS funded show Tip Rats. Now based in Dubbo, Danielle has begun work with a film crew in Forbes, where she is collaborating on three new screen projects.
Throughout Danielle’s journey within the arts she has found a passion for culture and storytelling and as the cultural projects officer for Orana Arts she endeavours to create experiences and possibilities within regional communities, helping others to tell their stories while exploring new art forms.