Michelle O'Brien



Michelle O’Brien is an arts program manager, curator and creative producer for international cultural organisations, specialising in large-scale arts and music festivals. Over the past decade Michelle has delivered over 20 international festivals and strategic campaigns for acclaimed cultural institutions across Europe, North America, Australia and Asia. Michelle is a Fellow of Australia Council for the Arts’ Emerging Leaders Development Program and European Festival Association’s Atelier for Festival Managers. She is a jury member for apexart New York’s curatorial grant program Franchise, and founder of the online platform for arts and festival managers, The Festival Circuit. Michelle holds two Bachelor of Arts degrees and a Master of Arts degree in Media Studies [Creative Media] with Distinction from University of Brighton. With expertise in arts and cultural programming, creative producing, large-scale event production and audience development in the cultural sector, Michelle’s passion lies in facilitating community-focused cultural initiatives and establishing sustainable collaborations between local and international creative communities. Michelle currently holds the position of Head of Programming for Loop, Berlin’s Annual Summit for Music Makers.

Work History

2016–present: Head of Programming, Loop: Summit for Music MakersAbleton, Berlin
2015–2016: Program Manager & Creative Producer, Loop: Summit for Music MakersAbleton, Berlin
2015:  Programming & Artist Liaison, Sydney Festival, Sydney
2014:  Festival Manager, Underbelly Arts Festival, Sydney
2013–2014:  Festival Manager, New Forms Festival, Vancouver
2013–2014:  Festival Producer, Our City Festival, Phnom Penh
2013:  Producer & Production Manager, International Symposium of Electronic Art [ISEA], Sydney
2012–2014:  Program Curator & Creative Producer, SUPERMARKT, Berlin
2012–2013:  Director of Operations & Producer, New Forms Festival, Vancouver
2012–2013:  Creative Producer, SUPERMARKT, Berlin
2011–2012:  Producer & Event Manager, CTM Festival & transmediale Vorspiel, Berlin
2010–2012:  Producer & Event Manager, transmediale festival for art & digital culture, Berlin
2011–2011:  Producer & Event Manager, Marshall McLuhan Centennial, Embassy of Canada, Berlin
2010–2011:  Producer & Event Manager, DAS [Digital Art & Sound] Weekend, Berlin
2009–2010:  Digital Marketing Manager, Edinburgh International Festival, Edinburgh
2008–2009:  Senior Communications Officer & Artist Liaison, Edinburgh Festival Fringe, Edinburgh
2007–2010:  Digital Marketing Manager, Sydney Festival, Sydney
2007–2008:  Marketing & Development Coordinator, FBi Radio, Sydney
2006–2007:  Volunteer & Office Manager, FBi Radio, Sydney
2004–2008:  Radio Broadcaster & Producer, FBi Radio, Sydney
2004–2006:  National Product Development Coordinator, Creative Vibes Records, Sydney

Professional Development
2017: Professional Training Course in Effective Communication, Collaboration and Conflict Handling Skills, Ableton, Berlin
2016:  Think Tank & Alumni Retreat, European House for Culture and European Festivals Association, Brussels
Since 2014:  Jury Member, apexart NYC international curatorial grant program
Since 2014:  Graduate & Fellow, European Festivals Association Atelier for Festival Managers, Poznan
Since 2014:  Graduate & Fellow, Australia Council for the Arts Emerging Leaders Development Program, Sydney
Since 2012:  Founder & Curator, The Festival Circuit
Since 2010:  Exhibiting Artist & Curator, Berlin


2010–2014:  Master of Arts in Media Studies [Creative Media] with Distinction, University of Brighton
2000–2004:  Bachelor of Arts in International Studies [Cultural Studies & Linguistics, Italian Major], University of Technology Sydney & Università degli studi di Ferrara
2000–2004:  Bachelor of Arts in Communication [Public Communications & Social Science Major], University of Technology Sydney
1994–1999:  Higher School Certificate with Honours, Sydney Girls High School


English [native], Italian [advanced], German [conversational] and French [basic]


Australian citizenship; German & USA residency and work visas


Note: A more detailed CV can be found on LinkedIn at linkedin.com/michobrien or by request at mo@michelleobrien.net