Performance Space Farewells Jeff Khan

Jeff Small

MEDIA RELEASE: Thursday 4 August 2022

Performance Space announces Jeff Khan, Artistic Director and CEO to step down after 11 years leading the delivery of the annual Liveworks Festival of Experimental Art, as well as residencies, curatorial projects, laboratories and artist development programs championing experimental art.

Sydney, Australia: The Performance Space Board has today announced that after 11 years at Performance Space including eight years leading the organisation as its Artistic Director and CEO, Jeff Khan will be stepping down from the role from August 31. Jeff will stay on in the role of Creative Consultant to oversee his curated program for the forthcoming 2022 edition of the Liveworks Festival of Experimental Art which returns to its home at Carriageworks from 20-30 October.

Jeff Khan said, "It is with much sadness, but also with great pride, that I take my leave of Performance Space after over a decade. I am immensely proud of what we have achieved as a team, and of the strong position Performance Space is in. It’s been an honour and privilege of the highest degree to lead an organisation that is so critically important to Australia’s arts ecology, and I’m excited about its bright future ahead.”

Jeff joined Performance Space in 2011 as Associate Director, then became Co-Director for 2 years prior to his appointment as Artistic Director and CEO in 2013. He relaunched the Liveworks Festival of Experimental Art as Performance Space’s major annual presentation platform in 2015, establishing it as an international festival of cutting edge work and the centrepiece of Performance Space's artistic program. Over this time Jeff also oversaw countless residency, laboratory and creative development opportunities for artists including the creation of much-loved programs such as Day for Night, the Queer Development Program and Live Dreams. During this time Performance Space’s artistic vision, audience reach and international engagement have all expanded considerably. He has worked tirelessly to open Performance Space to the Asia Pacific region, ensuring Performance Space was the hub for experimental art and exchange across Australia and the region for local, national and global audiences. 

In 2020 and 2021, Jeff responded quickly to the pandemic, developing hybrid programming models and embracing innovative digital engagement that ensured Performance Space continued to strongly connect with artists and audiences over this difficult time.

Jeff's legacy and achievements with Performance Space are considerable, however he must also be recognised for his leadership of the cultural sector as a Board member of Chunky Move, member of the Australia Council Dance Board and assessor for the Sidney Myer Creative Fellowships, Australia Council and Create NSW grant rounds.

Performance Space is delighted to congratulate Jeff on his new appointment as Creative Director of AsiaTOPA, which is a testament to his leadership abilities and his artistic direction of Performance Space over the last decade.

Chair of Performance Space, Janine Collins said: "Jeff’s contribution to Performance Space and the future of contemporary arts has been outstanding. For more than a decade, he has led a period of growth and international recognition for the organisation and artists. It has been both a pleasure and a privilege to work with Jeff since I joined the Board in 2015. We have achieved so much together.  

It’s wonderful news that Jeff will be heading to AsiaTOPA, and we welcome our General Manager of the last seven years, Vanessa Lloyd into the role of CEO. Vanessa has played an integral role beside Jeff during the delivery of all our programs, including Liveworks and contributed directly to our success. I look forward to working with her and our established Board into the future” 

Jeff Khan said: “Working closely with Vanessa Lloyd over the past 6 years has been a true joy and I know that Performance Space will continue to grow and thrive under her capable and passionate leadership. I want to thank our chair Janine Collins and each of the chairs and board directors I have served under for their guidance and support. 

Finally, I pay tribute to Performance Space’s incredible team of staff and to all of the amazing artists I have been fortunate to collaborate with over the past 11 years. Artists are Performance Space’s reason for being and I have learned so much from every artist I’ve worked with. I'm excited to be stepping into the Creative Consultant role to see through the forthcoming edition of Liveworks—it's going to be a bumper edition of the Festival and I couldn't be more proud of the program and all the extraordinary work we'll be sharing.”

Jeff Khan concludes as Performance Space Artistic Director and CEO on August 31 and moves into the role of Creative Consultant until October 31.

Liveworks Festival of Experimental Art returns to Carriageworks from 20-30 October 2022 with the announcement of the program, artist line up and tickets on sale on September 1.

Performance Space is currently reviewing candidates for the Artistic Director role and will announce the new appointment after Liveworks 2022.

MEDIA CONTACT: For further information and interview requests, please contact: Rae Begley, Utopia Vision, 0419 890 888.



Performance Space is Australia’s leading organisation for the development and presentation of experimental art.

Performance Space is the crucible for risk-taking artists. Emerging almost 40 years ago as a response to artists’ desire to explore new forms of art, Performance Space has consistently identified, nurtured and presented new directions in contemporary practice for artists and audiences in Sydney, Australia and the Asia Pacific. We champion risk, experimentation, and new modes of creative expression.

Performance Space continues to evolve and renew to meet the needs of the independent sector from our home at Carriageworks and explore new models for developing and presenting the most critical and important new work. With a unique positioning in the Asia-Pacific region, Performance Space fosters a strong program of artist development, through residencies, mentorship, and fellowships, as well as facilitating respected platforms for presentation and touring opportunities. Performance Space has been presenting Liveworks Festival of Experimental Art since 2015, now in its seventh year.


Jeff Khan is Artistic Director & CEO of Performance Space, Sydney. Originally from Western Australia, Jeff is a curator and writer working across performance, dance and the visual arts with a particular interest in experimental projects and interdisciplinary practices. At Performance Space, Jeff oversees the development and delivery of the annual Liveworks Festival of Experimental Art, as well as a range of residencies, curatorial projects, laboratories and artist development programs. Performance Space’s programs situate Australian practice in an Asia Pacific context and Jeff has undertaken extensive research across East and South-East Asia in the development of the organisation’s work, growing a wide international network of experimental artists and organisations.

From 2006–2010 Jeff was Artistic Director of the Next Wave Festival (Melbourne), and he has held roles and undertaken guest curatorships at the Fusebox Festival (USA), RISING (Melbourne), Gertrude Contemporary (Melbourne), Museum of Contemporary Art Australia (Sydney), Australian Centre for Contemporary Art (Melbourne), Perth Institute of Contemporary Art and John Curtin Gallery (Perth), and the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum (New York).

Jeff’s has served on Boards and Advisory roles for Chunky Move (VIC), the Australia Council for the Arts, Creative New Zealand and Create NSW.As a writer, he has contributed texts and essays to numerous publications, exhibition catalogues, magazines and artists’ projects.

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