Maggie Collins named Executive Director at AAM: Exclusive
Maggie Collins is the new Executive Director of the Association of Artist Managers (AAM), TIO can exclusively reveal.
“Following on from the inimitable Cath Haridy,” Collins comments in a statement, “I have huge shoes to fill, but I’m excited and hungry to dive in.”
“If there’s anything I’ve strived for in my career,” she adds, “it’s to fiercely advocate and protect anything I’m passionate about; be it my artists, the events/venues I’ve programmed, or the communities I’ve loved.”
Based in Brisbane, Collins brings to the job a well-rounded skillset across media and broadcasting, events and, of course, artist management.
The multihyphenate music industry professional served as Executive Programmer of the annual Bigsound summit for several years and enjoyed a ten-year spell as presenter with the triple j network.
The public-facing campaign was drawn-up and launched during the pandemic, with a mission to educate and encourage music fans to help support the industry.
Collins continues to operate her music services business Morning Belle, through which she guides the careers of Donny Benét and DZ Deathrays.
“Maggie and I met almost 15 years ago, when we first started managing bands,” comments AAM Co-Chair Greg Carey, on the trade body’s incoming ED.
Collins “has always been a passionate and forward thinking leader in her field,” he continues. “Her experience as an artist manager and Bigsound programmer has earned her a brilliant reputation around the globe as an innovative and strategic thinker and connector.”
Initially, Collins will share the role with Carey until she returns from maternity leave to assume the full-time post this September.
TIO caught up with Collins for a glance at the road ahead for AAM.
Congrats on the new gig. What will the “Maggie Collins era” at AAM look like and what are some of the big issues you plan to tackle?
Thank you. I wish I could give you some spicy content about how I’m going to make things “bigger and better”, but currently I’m still so humbled and in awe of the job Cath Haridy did, that my number one objective is to continue the monumental growth she was already spearheading.
Within that scope, I strive to do justice to everyone involved; from our members — developing to senior– to the hard-working board, and to the stakeholders and partners across our industry.
I’ll be sharing the role with the AAM Board Chair and my long-time friend Greg Carey as I slowly return from maternity leave.
But there are so many intriguing and challenging activities I can’t wait to sink my teeth into, including delivering the AAM’s suite of programmes aimed at developing managers and supporting their sustainability.
It’s also a priority of mine to listen to the advice of First Nations practitioners, and learn and implement ways to decolonise the industry.
There’s a lot of heart to everything I do, so watch out for things to get a bit emo on my watch…in the most professional way possible!
The pandemic has been devastating for the artist management community. Do you get a sense of optimism right now compared with, say, the same time last year?
Optimism is a word best served subjectively. Yes, there are a lot of incredible initiatives that have resulted from hours of lobbying, educating and developing from members of our industry, whether that’s funding, touring or mental health resources.
But we’re not even close to being out of the woods yet. At least artist managers are experienced in volatility and thrive off opportunity.
What type of skillset does an Aussie artist manager of 2021 need in their arsenal?
Resilience! Though the need for this skill has barely changed since before the pandemic, it’s just been dialed up a lot more.
Additionally, similar to medical professionals, a modern manager needs to constantly re-train, re-learn and up-skill in today’s climate.
And then, of course, there’s the usual expectations to be a connector, opportunity hunter, strategist, idea bouncer, advocate, bad-cop, whip cracker and truth teller.
This is a lot to expect, especially for a risky and turbulent career in artist management, but it’s what makes managers the most savvy, agile and forward-thinking workers in the industry.
I am busting to represent them as the new ED.
This article originally appeared on The Industry Observer, which is now part of The Music Network.