Debby Maziarz is a community arts and cultural development leader based in Eltham committed to changing the mindset and practices of independent artists seeking to resource their work and sustain a career in the arts. Debby founded the Westside Circus in 1996 and was instrumental in shaping the social circus movement in Australia. The Westside Circus continues to be a highly regarded training ground for socially engaged circus trainers, teachers, administrators, technicians, theatre makers, performers and producers that serve the arts and health sectors globally.
In 2010, Debby established her own arts leadership practice that combines 2 families across 3 generations in two dwellings, a craft studio, a live-in arts residency and exchange program, cooking workshops and mentoring for creatives. This was driven by the deepening desire to live her values and the need for a more resilient, connected and entrepreneurial sector. Debby’s practice and approach are underpinned by a belief that sustainability in the arts can be achieved through a more self-aware arts ecology, that strives for equitable systems and processes and an entrepreneurial mindset.
Core to her artistic practice is a commitment to raising the profile of the artist and advancing the practices, systems, processes and structures in which artists engage and participate. Debby is recipient of an Australia Council Community Arts and Cultural Development Fellowship (2016 – 2017) and a Creative Community Fellowship (2019 – 2020) in partnership with National Arts Strategies in USA.