Meet Dan

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Daniel is artist lead and Program Manager at Midsumma Festival

A bundle of joy and creative at heart, Dan brings a strong commitment to community arts and cultural development practice with diverse communities alongside governance experience and understanding of organisational culture.

Daniel is also currently Chair for Outer Urban Projects, a performing arts company working with emerging artists from Melbourne’s outer northern suburbs and he is a current participant in Australia Council for the Arts and Leadership Victoria leadership programs. Prior to his time at Midsumma Festival, Daniel was Program Producer and Program Coordinator at Next Wave (2012 – 2016), and has an independent theatre practice.

More than an artistic lead, Dan's unique way of thinking has become invaluable to Midsumma, his strategic ways have been instilled in our fabrication, our future, and our heart, putting his conceptual lens across everything.


This month, we introduce Daniel Santangeli – our Program Manager.

Q: What were you doing before Midsumma?
Before Midsumma I worked as a producer for Next Wave Festival, a biennial festival that profiles the next generation of Australia’s best artists. At Next Wave Festival I grew a passion for supporting diverse early career artists and culture makers, which is a passion that I’ve carried into Midsumma Festival through our mentorship programs. 

Q: What is the best part of your role at Midsumma?
As Program Manager, I am key part of making festival projects happen. Every day as part of my role, I get to have conversations with artists, culture makers and community leaders who are making the world a queerer place for the better. Not only are the conversations fulfilling, I get the pleasure of knowing that I’ve helped these amazing people achieve something new.

Q: What do you think sets Midsumma apart from the other places you’ve worked?
I have loved every place that I’ve worked, but Midsumma is unique amongst them because we are actually changing the world. What happens at a Midsumma Festival has real world impacts – whether it’s a young queer person attending their first queer event, an early-career artist finding the support through our mentorship program they never thought they would otherwise get, or someone feeling comfortable coming out at work because their workplace marches at Midsumma Pride March each year.

Q: What is the future of queer arts and culture?
The future of queer arts and culture will have deep roots connecting it to its past, but will be bold enough to be fresh, radical and speak directly to the challenges LGBTQIA+ people are facing locally and across the world.

Q: What keeps you awake at night?
My inbox.

Q: Where do you get your news?
Guardian Australia and Saturday Paper. And I follow queer media on Twitter from across the world.

Q: What gets you out of bed on a Sunday morning?
Usually, my boyfriend has made me breakfast...


It is with deep regret that we announce that we're looking for somebody to fill the size 29 shoes about to be vacated by our Program Manager, Daniel Santangeli. Daniel has been successful in securing a new fabulous role with another arts organisation so we are searching far and wide for an experienced arts festival programmer/curator to work with us for the 2021 festival and beyond. Whilst we will miss Dan (and of course wish him well for the future), we are also excited for a new chapter of creative ideas from a new creative team member, as we seek to continue our journey playing an active role in the promotion and development of queer culture here in Melbourne.


Queer Guide to MIFF 2019

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