When the behind-the-scenes staff at ACMI moves to its new offices in Southbank next month, it’ll be to a much bigger space than they currently have in the CBD. The 2000-square-metre, open-plan office will accommodate 140 people. But ACMI staff will only fill 80 of those spots. The rest could be anyone’s.
“It might be a tech-start up next to games developers, filmmakers next to choreographers, graphic designers next to visual artists,” says ACMI director and CEO, Katrina Sedgwick. “We’re the Centre for the Moving Image, and that all sits well together in a moving-image context.”
The new space, called ACMI X, will be a place where start-ups can have a home base alongside arts practitioners. Even in this digitised, remote-working world, proximity is important, and it’s an opportunity for disparate parts of the arts industries to work side by side.
“This came about because we started thinking about ways of engaging with the industry in richer ways beyond exhibitions,” says Sedgwick. “In the way we engage with artists and curators and industry, ACMI is uniquely placed to facilitate cooperation.”
But it’s more than just another co-working space.
The key to bringing it all together is a shared event space, out of which Sedgwick hopes ACMI will run about 20 events during the year, from networking events and pitch nights, to industry training courses.
ACMI already engages thousands of children each year through holiday workshops. And then there’s Intermix, its program of events for 15-to-25 year olds. “We thought, why not take a head-to-tail approach and support people through the next step as well?” says Sedgwick.
“I think a lot of practitioners work in isolation,” says Sedgwick, “so this could have a really positive impact.”
ACMI X opens in May 2016. Applications are now open.