Front Row Industry Development



Front Row is an exciting skills development program for Northern Territory artists and arts workers, introduced in 2018 and facilitated by Darwin Festival and Brown’s Mart Theatre. Front Row is open to emerging and mid-career artists, arts workers and writers who are looking to develop their creative and professional skills.

During the Festival, selected participants attend shows, write reviews, contribute to critical conversations and take part in workshops with Festival artists. Through the program, participants expand their networks, increase their knowledge of the Australian arts landscape and develop their critical thinking skills.

“Front Row is such an important initiative for the Darwin arts landscape. As a maker of local works, I need to be able to tap into a group of Darwin-based thinkers and critics and now I know they exist. What worked wonderfully was the breadth of works that were chosen for Front Row and the in-depth discussions that followed. I learned so much by listening to others’ reactions to and understanding of the work.”
Front Row participant, 2018


  • Develop your creative and professional skills
  • Expand your networks
  • Learn from leading Australian artists and writers
  • Build your skills in critical discussion and response

What you’ll get to do

  • Attend three workshops by Festival artists across the Festival period
  • See up to six diverse events (performances selected by Darwin Festival and tickets supplied)
  • Participate in facilitated conversations with other participants and Festival artists about the performances you’ve seen
  • Write two critical responses to events you have seen which will be published during the Festival

Please note: Events and workshops will be scheduled in the evenings and on weekends during the Festival period. There will be a time commitment of approximately 15-20 hours over 18 days.

Expressions of interest have now closed for the 2019 program.

2019 Front Row Outcomes

2019 was the second year of the program in partnership with Brown’s Mart Theatre. Six local artists and writers were selected to take part.

Participants saw a curated program of nine shows across the 2019 Festival, attended three workshops and engaged in seven formal post-show conversations reflecting on the work seen throughout the Festival.

Participants had to complete one short-form critical response to either My Urrwai or Bitch on Heat. You can read the published reviews on Australian Arts Review below:

My Urrwai

Bitch on Heat

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