Here at Pacitti Company and SPILL Festival things are changing. We are sad to announce that after three decades dedicated to creating and supporting experimental art, our founder Robert Pacitti is stepping aside from his role as Artistic Director and CEO. Robert is looking forward to giving more time to his own artistic practice and pursuing other interests outside of the arts. He will leave the organisation in spring 2021.

The work of Pacitti Company has always focused on addressing social imbalances and foregrounding social justice. Anti-racism and proactive equity have been at the centre of our work and succession planning for many years. Now, as Robert steps down, we are looking forward to a recruitment process that advances the radical spirit on which Pacitti Company and SPILL Festival were founded.

Our Executive Director Andy Brumwell will also step aside during 2021 and one of the first tasks for the new Artistic Director will be to appoint a new Executive Director. This means that the principal leadership structure of the organisation is now opened up for the first time ever.

As part of these developments, Pacitti Company will change its name and simply become SPILL Festival. Our year round rolling programme of activities at the Think Tank will continue, also changing its name to the SPILL Think Tank. These activities fuel the festival and ensure that local people are at the heart of shaping each edition of SPILL.

Robert says:

‘By stepping aside from my senior position within the arts, the opportunity opens up for a future leader to steer the evolution of SPILL Festival with their own creative and critical vision.

I created Pacitti Company 28 years ago and it has transformed abundantly over that time. From its beginnings as a small-scale support structure for my own experimental performance work, to a company with extensive international touring, to becoming one of the very few significant artist-led international festivals, then an unlikely relocation from London to Ipswich a decade ago, it’s been an amazing journey.

I have had the honour of working with a huge number of talented, inspiring artists, freelancers, partners and team members. There have been challenges along the way, but I have met extraordinary people and had a hand in facilitating some incredible artworks that will stay with me always. Leaving the Company after so long and SPILL Festival after 15 years is quite the goodbye, but the time is right for me to pass on the baton.

The incoming Artistic Director will be taking on a beautiful beast of a festival, in a great location, both of which I have been honoured to serve during my time at the helm. The search is now on for someone who can lead the festival in audacious and exciting ways, whilst keeping it ever relevant to the diverse peoples of Ipswich and Suffolk, and our audiences from across the country and around the world.’

Hugh Whittall, Chair of Pacitti Company’s Board of Trustees, says:

‘We have much to thank Robert for. He has been not so much a fixture as a constantly moving motivator and energetic promoter of the arts in Ipswich, in London – and indeed worldwide – for many years. Those who have worked with him and alongside him have admired his creativity, generosity and energy in promoting challenging art, and also in nurturing new talent. But we also see and admire his activism and his passionate advocacy of diversity, inclusivity and social justice. It will be a huge loss when Robert moves on, but on behalf of the Trustees I wish him all that he might want for the future as he spends more time on his own art. It is a sad day, but SPILL is strong because of Robert, and his legacy will live on.’

The role of Artistic Director at SPILL Festival has been advertised. Applications are now closed.
The role of Executive Director at SPILL Festival will be advertised in spring next year.
Our rolling Think Tank activities will recommence next year.
Our SPILL Festival 2021 programme will be presented in full next October.