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    Arts Queensland

    Arts Queensland contributes to the Queensland Government’s objectives by increasing community access to the arts, and through the arts, helping to build better connected and more inclusive communities. Through its investments, it also makes a significant contribution to the creative economy and employment and ensures the quality of key arts infrastructure enhances the state’s cultural profile and reputation.

    Arts Queensland’s roles include supporting the Premier and Minister for the Arts in setting the government’s strategic policy direction for arts and culture in Queensland, and administering funding and capital works programs that provide the foundations for a strong arts and cultural sector.

    It also supports the governance and compliance of companies and statutory bodies within the arts portfolio to ensure integrity and accountability for the government’s largest arts investments.

    Another key area of responsibility is managing the state’s major arts and cultural assets, including the South Bank Cultural Precinct, Judith Wright Centre of Contemporary Arts and Centre of Contemporary Arts in Cairns.

    In June 2015, the cultural precinct was awarded a heritage listing, demonstrating the historical, aesthetic and cultural significance of the site to Queenslanders. In 2014–15 there were 5.3 million visitors to the precinct, the equivalent of the seating capacity of more than 100 Suncorp Stadiums.

    Arts Queensland prides itself on its level of engagement with the arts and cultural sector, as well as the broader community, making good use of online communications including a successful blog and active social media channels. Over the past year:

    • 145 blogs and 65 case studies on arts policy and practice were published attracting 14,800 unique users and 55,845 page views
    • the number of Facebook followers increased from 15,473 to 18,819 (18 per cent increase)
    • the number of Twitter followers from 11,278 to 13,343 (15 per cent increase), making a total of 5411 new followers across both platforms.

    In addition to its online communication, Arts Queensland engaged in many face-to-face activities including 51 workshops and forums for industry and community, 23 capacity-building initiatives to help the sector become more resilient and consultation with 27 local councils across Queensland to strengthen intergovernmental relations.

    • 3 Queensland Writers Fellowships
    • 23 capacity-building initiatives
    • 51 workshops
    • 65 case studies
    • 1500 regional performances
    • 18,819 Facebook followers
    • $1.75 million to arts companies through the Arts Leverage Fund
    • 5.3 million visitors to the South Bank Cultural Precinct
    • $7.42 million invested in triennial funded organisations

    Key achievements for 2014–15

    • Supported recipients of triennial organisation funding (2014–16) to create opportunities for local artists and arts and cultural organisations. Total investments in 2014–15 amounted to $7.42 million.
    • Implemented the Arts Business Innovation Fund in partnership with the Tim Fairfax Family Foundation to strengthen the financial capacity of small to medium arts businesses through a grant and no interest loan facility. Since commencement, $107,808 has been awarded to two organisations to support regional artists’ access to international markets and provide music therapy in nursing homes.
    • Implemented the Arts Leverage Fund to incentivise private sector giving by matching eligible cash sponsorship and philanthropy dollar for dollar. In 2014–15, $1.75 million was paid out to 16 arts companies that together leveraged in excess of $6 million.
    • Implemented the Arts Acumen, providing resources for the arts and cultural sector to develop its business skills and knowledge through workshops, mentoring, connector events and online tools.
    • Supported high quality arts education programs in partnership with Education Queensland and the Australia Council for the Arts through the Artist in Residence Program with 12 pre-school, primary and secondary schools supported, including the Lady Cilento Children’s Hospital.
    • Invested in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander arts and culture through the Backing Indigenous Arts program. The 2014 Cairns Indigenous Art Fair attracted a record attendance of more than 18,000 people and generated artwork sales of over $545,000, an important source of income for the artists involved, their families and communities.
    • Increased the number and reach of touring projects throughout regional Queensland. In 2014–15 more than 130 regional communities received a Playing Queensland Fund supported tour and 53 received an arTour supported tour, resulting in more than 1500 performances.
    • Worked with the State Library of Queensland to reinstate the Queensland Literary Awards amounting to $125,000 and continue three Queensland Writers Fellowships totalling $60,000.
    • Continued to work with Tourism and Events Queensland and the Department of Tourism, Major Events, Small Business and the Commonwealth Games to maximise cultural tourism and employment opportunities in Brisbane, throughout regional Queensland and at key events.

    Prior to transferring to the Department of the Premier and Cabinet as part of machinery of government changes on 1 March 2015, Arts Queensland contributed to the strategic plan objectives of the former Department of Science, Information, Technology, Innovation and the Arts.

    Future directions for 2015–16

    • Conduct a policy and funding review examining arts and cultural priorities, funding and assessment models for the Queensland Government that exemplifies innovation, fairness and transparency.
    • Launch the new Queensland Arts Showcase program, creating employment and training opportunities for Queensland-based artists and arts workers and supporting collaborations that provide quality arts and cultural experiences.
    • Manage a cultural infrastructure program that delivers infrastructure upgrades and a maintenance program for the Cultural Precinct on Brisbane’s South Bank.
    • Develop a conservation management plan that will provide a framework to understand and manage cultural heritage value of the Cultural Precinct and guide future infrastructure planning.
    • Deliver cultural tourism opportunities in partnership with Tourism and Events Queensland, local councils and regional tourism organisations and through events such as the Commonwealth Games.

    Arts Queensland is a new service area for the Department of the Premier and Cabinet in 2014–15 as a result of machinery of government changes. Previously, Arts Queensland was part of the former Department of Science, Information Technology, Innovation and the Arts (DSITIA).

    The following table provides results against targets for Arts Queensland service area for 2014–15:

    Service standards Notes 2013–14
    Est. actual
    2013–14 Actual
    Level of client satisfaction with Arts Queensland’s service delivery 1 87% 88% 88%
    Utilisation of state-owned arts and cultural facilities 2 4,550,000 visitors 5,342,097 visitors 5,445,174 visitors
    Commercial revenue as a percentage of total revenue 3 13% 15% 18.7%


    1. The method of calculating this measure is based on the Queensland Government’s Performance Management Framework five-point survey guidelines, as well as the DPC Better Practice Guidelines for Measuring Client Satisfaction. The survey includes questions related to the following dimensions of performance: timeliness, quality, access, staff, outcome and overall satisfaction. This measure was reported in DSITIA’s Service Delivery Statement in 2014–15.
    2. This service standard informs on the estimated actual target based on the total estimated attendance figures in 2014–15 of Queensland Performing Arts Centre, Queensland Art Gallery I Gallery of Modern Art, Queensland Museum, State Library of Queensland and the Judith Wright Centre of Contemporary Arts. This measure was a new measure introduced in DSITIA’s Service Delivery Statement in 2014–15.
    3. This service standard measures Arts Queensland’s efficiency in leveraging government’s investment in Queensland’s premier cultural facilities through revenue generation that contributes to facilities management costs. This measure was reported in DSITIA’s Service Delivery Statement in 2014–15.

    Case study

    Cultural icon recognised on Queensland Heritage Register

    Brisbane’s iconic South Bank Cultural Precinct—including the Queensland Art Gallery, Queensland Museum, Queensland Performing Arts Centre and the Edge at the State Library—has been entered into the Queensland Heritage Register as a State Heritage Place.

    This decision ensures any future planning for this much-loved public asset will stay true to the spirit of its original design.

    Designed by Queensland architect, the late Robin Gibson, the Cultural Precinct is recognised as an exceptional, intact example of Gibson’s work and is widely recognised as a unique part of Brisbane’s skyline.

    Nominated by the Australian Institute of Architects, the South Bank Cultural Precinct attracted a record 1254 public submissions— the most received by the Queensland Heritage Council for a single nomination in the history of the Heritage Act.

    The Heritage Council recognised that the South Bank Cultural Precinct buildings are working buildings that need to grow and change to accommodate growing audiences. This is evident by the redevelopment of the original State Library, along with the construction of the Gallery of Modern Art, which were both opened in 2006.

    Arts Queensland’s Infrastructure Strategy and Planning and the Arts Property and Facilities teams played an integral role in Arts Queensland’s support for the heritage listing of the Cultural Precinct buildings. The teams will now look to commission a Conservation Management Plan to inform future planning and investment in the area.

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    Last updated:
    4 July, 2016
    Last reviewed:
    20 October, 2014