Jess Scully

Jess is a curator who uses creativity to engage people in the knowledge economy and urban life in the twenty-first century, working to shape a sustainable and inclusive future.

Jess has charted a unique career over 20 years. From 2009 to 2017 she was the founding director of Vivid Ideas, Australia’s largest creative industries event, a 23-day event designed to enliven the city with talks, workshops, exhibitions and events.

She has curated creative sector events including Junket, TEDxSydney and Curating Participation, and was a founding contributor to the Sydney Culture Network, a city-wide collaboration of cultural institutions co-ordinated by UNSW Art and Design.

In the past, Jess has served as an arts policy advisor to the NSW Minister for the Arts, directed the Qantas Spirit of Youth Awards and the Creative Cities East Asia project, established 2SER’s so(hot)right(now) weekly arts radio show, curated public art projects, and began her career as editor of creative industries publications including Yen, Empty, SummerWinter and Hotpress.

In 2019 Jess was elected Deputy Lord Mayor of the City of Sydney. As a councillor, she advocates for new models to address the housing crisis and support workforces of the future. She’s also working on reviving Sydney’s nightlife, expanding access to culture, and protecting digital rights in the public realm. Jess is committed to opening up politics to younger and more diverse people.

Her first book, Glimpses of Utopia: Real Ideas for a Fairer World, was published by Pantera Press in August 2020.

Jess Scully in action

Sign-up to our newsletter