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Gill Nicol at Sydney Ideas event for Innovation Week 2018, Sydney. Woman in red dress speaks alone on a stage, surrounded by a horseshoe-shaped sea of people listening.


A place to read some more about some of the work I've been involved in

Image: Matthew Vasilescu


A growing body of research -  both local and global - confirms the effectiveness of programs that link arts and culture to improved mental health. This is a growth area for all cultural organisations seeking ways to bring in new audiences and benefit all of their stakeholders. 


Museum Education podcast

I met the lovely Alberto Michalette at the EDI conference in Naples in Oct 2022, where I was speaking about the pilot MCA ArtFlow well-being program.


Alberto's enthusiasm and passion for museum education show throughout his great podcast series. I was delighted to be invited to talk to him about audience engagement and the importance of art and well-being in October 2023.


Artshub website article

Conceived in the wake of drought, bushfires, floods, and the discombobulating pandemic lockdowns, the MCA's Artflow program was a collaboration with the Mind Room, designed to help people express, understand and process their emotions. 

This piece by Christine Long looks at what the arts can offer to help us all take care of our mental health and improve our resilience.


Around 1 in 6 (18%) people in Australia – or about 4.4 million – identify with disability. This is a lot of people to not invest in.


It’s time to celebrate disability and to move to cultural equity. Time to look at what cultural ableism is; time to put d/Deaf and disabled people at the centre of the conversation.


Accessible Arts NSW video

I MCed an Access Ideas and Insights panel discussion, Accessible Tech, organised by Accessible Arts and held at MCA Australia, April 2023.


Speakers: Digital producers Stuart Buchanan from the Sydney Opera House and Marcus Wright from the Museum of Contemporary Art were joined by Sophie Penkethman-Young, the Manager of Digital Culture Initiatives at Australia Council for the Arts. 

To watch the panel discussion, click on the video below. 


Sydney Arts Management Advisory Group video

Maximising your Audience: making your work accessible to everyone

29 May 2017.

Run in partnership with Accessible Arts, this SAMAG event showcased organisations large and small who have pursued new audiences by continuing to make their work as open and accessible to everyone to engage with as possible.

To watch the panel discussion, click on the video below. 


Awkward Bastards Symposium, UK

As part of the Awkward Bastards Symposium, April 2015, I was invited to explore the question 'Why is it so difficult to describe yourself as a disabled artist?' 


Awkward Bastards was co-produced by DASH and mac Birmingham. To watch the panel discussion, click on the video below. 


Axisweb article

Artists are responding to and investing time in working with museum collections, alongside curators who increasingly understand the value of dialogue between the historical and the contemporary. ‘Behind the Scenes of the Museum’ is a piece I wrote explaining what I came away with after the Axis one-day event in 2014. 


MCA website article

An article I wrote back in November 2021 when I was Director of Audience Engagement at the MCA.

In it I take a look at the wide scope of programs that have engaged and inspired all MCA audiences across the last 30 years.



Inside the Gallery podcast

I was interviewed by Tim Stackpool on the tricky business of showing challenging artworks in a culture of outrage and the role of museums and galleries as places to talk about taboo subjects. And the joy of leading a nude tour of the MCA!


The MCA's Artful: Art and Dementia ran as a research program between March 2016 – October 2018 working with 124 people through the program (67 people with dementia/ 57 care partners), travelling from all over Greater Sydney and as far as Kiama, Blue Mountains, Newcastle and Bowral. 


Sydney Ideas Panel

I was part of a panel of scientists and art practitioners who came together to connect the dots between creativity and neuroplasticity at a Sydney Ideas event during Innovation Week in August 2018.


​Speakers: Associate Professor Elizabeth Scott, Professor Sharon Naismith, Gill Nicol, Bernadette Harvey, Samantha Meers AO.


Sydney Ideas Talk

For many of those who took part in it, the Artful program opened up a whole new world; it created an opportunity to enjoy themselves, move their bodies and find new ways to communicate.  

I spoke about this as part of the Sydney Ideas event in Innovation Week 2018. This article on the MCA website is an edited version of my talk. 


MuseumNext website article

Here’s a good article written by Charlotte Coates as part of MuseumNext, that also highlights the amazing work of the Artful coordinator Michelle Heldon.

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