As an artist, curator, artistic director and frequent keynote speaker internationally, Kristy Edmunds has a reputation for innovation and depth in the presentation of contemporary performing arts. In collaboration with master artists, she has curated unique platforms that survey the breadth of their artistry, while placing equal emphasis on the support and commissioning of new work by some of today’s leading performance creators across disciplines.
Edmunds was the Founding Executive and Artistic Director of the Portland Institute for Contemporary Art (PICA) and the TBA Festival (Time Based Art) in Portland, Oregon. She was the Artistic Director for the Melbourne International Arts Festival from 2005 to 2008, and was the first to serve an unprecedented four-year term. Upon completion she was appointed as the Head of the School of Performing Arts at the Victorian College of the Arts/University of Melbourne, and after one year became the Deputy Dean for the College.
Concurrently, Edmunds worked as the inaugural Consulting Artistic Director for the now critically heralded Park Avenue Armory in New York (2009–2012). Curating the initial three years of programming, she established the formative identity of the PAA with commissioned work by artists such as Ann Hamilton, the final performance event of the Merce Cunningham Dance Company; Tom Sachs, Janet Cardiff, STREB, Ryoji Ikeda, and the Tune-In Festival with Philip Glass and many others.
Edmunds’ robust career has included work as a visual artist, an independent filmmaker, a playwright, a director and a teacher. She holds a bachelor’s in film direction from Montana State University and a master’s in playwriting and theater direction from Western Washington University. In recognition of her contributions to the arts, Edmunds was bestowed with the honor of Chevalier (Knight) de L’Ordre des Arts et des Lettres by the French Government in 2016 and was the first recipient of the inaugural Berresford Prize by United States Artists (USA) in 2018.
She is married with two sons, and now calls Los Angeles home. She is the Executive and Artistic Director of UCLA’s Center for the Art of Performance, one of the nation’s leading presenting organizations for contemporary performing artists.