Mariam Ella Arcilla (she/her)

Mar-yum Ell-luh Ar-seel-yah

Hello! I’m a Filipino-Singaporean arts and culture worker living on unceded Gadigal land. As a freelancer, I collaborate with artists and organisations to turn radiant ideas into programs, resources, and dialogues.

My childhood was zigzagged between the Philippines, Singapore and Hong Kong, where I was raised by a family of artists and creative cooks. This led me to pursue an elastic career in the arts and culture sector. Today, my work metabolises through: community engagement, public programming, writing, copyediting, comms & marketing, gallery management, and digital strategy.

Immigrating to Australia in 1996, I graduated from a BA Hons (First Class) and BCA in Contemporary Art & Writing from Griffith University, Gold Coast. Rooted in the arts sector since 2006, I had my start in galleries and artist-run initiatives, before working up to senior roles at museums, commercial galleries, creative tech companies, and government departments in Meanjin (Brisbane), Gadigal (Sydney), Naarm (Melbourne) and Yugambeh/Kombumerri (Gold Coast) lands.

I’m presently the Co-Chair for the experimental writing platform Runway Journal and a fellow in the Australia Council for the Arts Future Leaders program.

Joyous projects I’m collaborating on in 2023 include the food anthology project The Calamansi Story with The Entree.Pinays, the Equity—Builder digital platform with Arts House (forthcoming) and the communal home project Magenta House (forthcoming).

Prior to this, as the Communications & Engagement Manager at 4A Centre for Contemporary Asian Art (2020-2023) I managed core comms content, programming, editorial publications, campaigns, and advocacy avenues to amplify Asian arts and culture in Australia.

As a former artist-run initiative and gallery co-director, I’ve had the opportunity to serve as a consultant for various cultural policies and arts community programs. An avid collaborator, I’ve dreamed up projects and campaigns with remarkable bodies, including the Institute of Modern Art, Museum of Brisbane, STATION, Arts Queensland, Design Minds, The Entree.Pinays, City of Gold Coast, Powerhouse Museum, Miami Marketta, THE WALLS, State Library of Queensland, Semipermanent, and HOTA. 

I’m also a writer with a practice spanning copyediting, arts writing, profiling, web & social communications, and accessible writing. My texts appear on institutional sites, books, and apps, and in publications such as VAULT, Running DogDisobedient Daughters, Home of the Arts, Art Collector, Art Guide, Runway, Broadsheet, Acclaim, and 4A Papers.

Connect with me.

Name note: I’m reverting to my full name to preserve family lore and birth docs. Mariam Ella is my first name; belonging together. While I’m in the snailish pace of revising Australian documents, feel free to update any records on your end.