The Wolanski Foundation Project

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12 April 2005














Wolanski Foundation Supports NIDA Archive Project


The Wolanski Foundation has formed a partnership with the National Institute of Dramatic Art to assist the development of performing arts information resources at Australia’s leading theatre school.  

The NIDA collections comprise official records, company archives of the Old Tote Theatre Company and Jane Street Theatre, personal collections of distinguished directors and staff such as Robert Quentin, Tom Brown and John Clark, the NIDA Rodney Seaborn Library (a reference service available to NIDA staff, students and the general public) and the SBW Foundation Collection incorporating material from the theatre historian and broadcaster John West, and material from the Dennis Wolanski Library of the Performing Arts.  

In December 2004, the NIDA Foundation Trust launched an appeal to raise $3 million to establish improved facilities for the collections and develop them as a major Australian information cultural resource. 

Wolanski Foundation director Paul Bentley will join archivist Dr Peter Orlovich, Dr Margaret Leask, Kathryn Adler and Derek Nicholson to develop archive plans, systems, programs and services, complementing library services managed by Christine Roberts.

NIDA General Manager Elizabeth Butcher said: “NIDA’s role in supplying well trained actors, directors, designers and technicians to the industry is a story worth telling and a story worth preserving. Mel Gibson, in a recent interview, spoke about it as a huge entertainment force. Its impact on post-war cultural developments, such as state arts centres and state theatre companies, needs to be appreciated. We very much welcome the involvement of the Wolanski Foundation in the project.” 

Phillip Wolanski, a board member of NIDA, said: “I’m delighted to be able to support the development of the NIDA collections, housing some of the material dispersed by the Sydney Opera House in 1997, and other significant items relating to Australia’s cultural heritage.”  

The Wolanski Foundation was established in 1998 to facilitate management, production and appreciation of the arts through the provision of information services. It provides a web-based information service and aims to generate ongoing value from the work of the Dennis Wolanski Library of the Performing Arts, assist other organisations to manage their arts information resources, and stimulate collaboration in the management of arts information.  

IDA will light the candles for its 50th birthday in 2008. In celebrating its achievements, it will point with pride to a stellar cast of directors and artists widely recognised in international and Australian theatre, film and television.  

Contact: Margaret Leask, phone 02 9697 7554. 

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