Remembering William Cook (1933-2016)

Posted in Creative Catalysts on 10/Jan/2017 04:54

We remember and recognise Bill as the fourth Chair of the Victorian Arts Council and the very first who was also an arts practitioner. This marked a key moment in the evolution of our organisation – now Regional Arts Victoria – having developed the robustness and resilience of governance and management that could champion artistic leadership. As Chair in 1989-1990, working with Director Don MacKay, Bill led an impactful period for our organisation, and Don remembers Bill as being particularly passionate about our Schools Touring program, which at that time presented some 2,000 performances per year. Regional Arts Victoria is deeply thankful for Bill’s leadership during this time, and for every contribution that he made as a Member of our organisation and as a member of the board.

As manager of the Ararat Performing Arts Centre, Bill presented countless performances to innumerable audiences, in a role that was not without its challenges. Managing a regional performing arts centre is a complex balancing act of artistic provocation and community development, striving to find the best ways to support artists and offer inspiration. As a theatre director and musician, Bill was able to bring his own artistic judgement to that role, and to the many other such roles that characterised his career. The dedication that Bill has shown across this time is exemplary of the kind of collaborative leadership that stimulates creative thinking, brings people together and takes art in new directions.

The board and staff of Regional Arts Victoria recognise and celebrate Bill for his commitment to fostering Victoria’s arts. 

Regional Arts Victoria is saddened to learn of the death of Bill Cook, Life Member and Chair of our Board from 1989-1990.

Clouds. Photo by Esther Anatolitis.