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    Arts Queensland

    Arts Queensland (AQ) supports Queenslanders’ access to arts and cultural experiences, the growth and sustainability of the arts and cultural sector, and a strong community of arts.

    AQ’s role includes management of investment programs that support individual artists and arts and cultural organisations; supporting capital infrastructure that provides public spaces for arts production and engagement; and providing arts and cultural policy and strategy advice to the Queensland Government.

    AQ 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 maintaining Queensland’s premier cultural assets including the Cultural Precinct, South Bank, Judith Wright Centre of Contemporary Arts and Centre of Contemporary Arts, Cairns. In 2015–16, annual maintenance and depreciation expenditure related to the Cultural Precinct was approximately $66 million.

    Key achievements for 2015–16

    • Supported Queensland’s small to medium arts sector through the Organisations Fund to create opportunities for local artists and arts and cultural organisations. Total investment in 2015–16 amounted to $6.7 million.
    • Launched the Queensland Arts Showcase Program in September 2015 with more than $2 million invested in 62 projects across the state.
    • Supported 1379 performances, exhibitions and/or community engagement activities in 394 visits to regional communities across Queensland through the Playing Queensland Fund.
    • Increased Queensland Ballet’s base funding by $1.2 million per annum to employ more dancers and provide increased performances and touring.
    • 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.
    • Incentivised private sector support by matching eligible cash sponsorship and philanthropy dollar for dollar through the Arts Leverage Fund. In 2015–16, $2.2 million was invested in 22 arts companies that together leveraged in excess of $8.7 million in funding.
    • Invested in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander arts and culture through the $12.6 million four-year Backing Indigenous Arts program to build sustainable and ethical Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander arts industries.
    • Invested $2 million in locally-led arts and cultural experiences in partnership with 59 Queensland local government councils through the Regional Arts Development Fund (RADF).
    • Commenced the four-year $28 million critical infrastructure and maintenance upgrade of the South Bank Cultural Precinct to replace and renew essential services to ensure Queensland’s arts assets provide world-class experiences for more than five million visitors annually.
    • Supported Queensland’s film and television industry, through administration of $30 million over four years to Screen Queensland to attract large-scale film and high-end television productions.

    Our performance

    The following service standards in the DPC’s Service Delivery Statement were used by the department and the government to assess Arts Queensland’s overall performance.

    Arts Queensland Notes 2015–16
    Target / Estimate
    Service: Investment programs
    Level of client satisfaction with Arts Queensland’s service delivery 1 90% 88%
    Service: Facilities management
    Utilisation of state-owned arts and cultural facilities 2 5,500,000 visitors 5,823,623 visitors
    Commercial revenue as a percentage of total revenue 3 16% 18%


    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.
    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, Queensland Museum, State Library of Queensland and the Judith Wright Centre of Contemporary Arts.
    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.

    Future directions for 2016–17

    • Commence consultation of a 10-year vision through strategic engagement with stakeholders for the cultural and creative industries in response to Advance Queensland initiative.
    • Complete the business case for Brisbane’s new performing arts venue for government consideration.
    • Commence the $2.25 million Cremorne Theatre refurbishment including redesign of stage and seating.
    • Continue to undertake the essential $28 million infrastructure upgrade program across Queensland’s premier cultural institutions on Brisbane’s South Bank.
    • Complete the Cultural Precinct Conservation Management Plan to ensure the cultural significance of the precinct is conserved and to inform future planning and investment.
    • Support Queensland’s small to medium arts sector through outcomes of the Organisations Fund 2017–20.

    Case study

    Supporting and celebrating Queensland’s Indigenous arts

    Arts Queensland recognises the importance of art as an expression of culture, as well as an economic driver in Indigenous communities. In 2015–16, Arts Queensland dedicated $12.6 million over four years to the Backing Indigenous Arts (BIA) program.

    Lockhart River Dancers perform at CIAF 2015.

    Lockhart River Dancers perform at CIAF 2015.
    Photo by Lovegreen Photography, courtesy of the CAIF.

    A government initiative since 2007, BIA is unique in the Australian context, supporting Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander artists from creation to market through an investment cycle that begins with art centres and individual grants and concludes with support for the Cairns Indigenous Art Fair (CIAF).

    Through grants to individual artists and investment in the 14 Indigenous arts centres and hubs across regional Queensland, BIA has been an important contributor to the career development of many artists across the state. Highlights in 2015–16 include:

    • Queensland artists showcasing their work at Monaco’s Oceanographic Museum including Bagu sculptures from the artists of Girringun Art Centre in Cardwell, three to seven-metre tall Dhari from Torres Strait Elder Ken Thaiday Snr, a stunning ghost net installation from Darnley Island’s Erub Arts and Pormpuraaw Art Centre and striking contemporary sculptures and prints from leading Torres Strait artists Brian Robinson and Alick Tipoti.
    • Artists from art centres Erub Arts, Mornington Island Arts, and Yalanji Arts at Mossman Gorge attending the Virgin Australia Melbourne Fashion Festival Cultural Program, showcasing textiles, prints and wearable art.
    • Quandamooka Festival, a celebration of culture, country and people on North Stradbroke Island, resulted in employment of more than 125 Queensland artists and arts workers including 80 Quandamooka artists, arts workers and elders. The festival featured cultural tours, traditional song and dance, music, art exhibitions, workshops, and storytelling and was attended by 15,000 people.
    • Queensland Indigenous artists Bianca Beetson, Delvene Cockatoo-Collins, and Mau Power, and organisations including Naygayiw Gigi Indigenous Corporation and Digi Youth Arts were supported to attend the 12th Festival of Pacific Arts and represent Australia.
    • Queensland Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children together with professional artists and elders curated and showcased children’s stories, experiences, ideas and opinions in the pop-up museum, Jarjums Life Museum. The first children’s museum, Jarjums featured at the Out of the Box Festival at Queensland Performing Arts Centre (QPAC).

    AQ continued to support the annual CIAF. Held from 31 July to 2 August 2015, the fair was a celebration of Indigenous art in Queensland, a major tourism card for the Cairns region. With more than 50,000 people attending it was an opportunity for artists to have their artwork viewed, appreciated and sold.

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    Last updated:
    17 February, 2017
    Last reviewed:
    19 January, 2017