Marnie Karmelita

Artistic Director

Marnie Karmelita is an international arts curator and producer with 25 years’ experience working in venues and festivals in Australia, the United States and New Zealand. 

Marnie was appointed to the role of Creative Director of the New Zealand Festival Trust (since renamed Tāwhiri) in 2018, and now co-leads the organisation’s creative vision and strategy across the entire portfolio of festivals and events alongside the Director Ngā Toi Māori, including the biennial Aotearoa New Zealand Festival of the Arts, the annual Wellington Jazz Festival and the biennial Lexus Song Quest. 

After delivering three Festivals of the Arts and five Jazz Festivals as Creative Director, Marnie departs Tāwhiri to take up the role of Artistic Director at Ten Days on the Island. 

Prior to this, Marnie was Programming Director at Brisbane Powerhouse leading major special projects and festivals including the inaugural IRL Digital Festival and Wonderland festivals as well as the established WTF (World Theatre Festival). In the United States, she was responsible for developing and leading an annual multi-artform program reflecting contemporary arts practice at The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill as Director of Programming of Carolina Performing Arts.  

Whilst there, Marnie produced the landmark 2012/13 season commemorating the centennial anniversary of the premiere of The Rite of Spring, which presented 11 commissions including nine world premieres and two US premieres. In Australia, she held roles at Black Swan State Theatre Company, followed by six years at the Perth Festival where she oversaw four annual festivals as Program Manager. 

With a passion for working together with artists to nurture new works and stretch the boundaries of performance, she believes the arts are transformational and make an inordinate contribution to our society. She particularly strives to bring audiences closer to the artistic process, so we can all tap into our creativity.