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    Arts Queensland

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

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

    AQ also supports the governance and compliance of statutory bodies and companies 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.

    Key achievements for 2016–17

    • Announced four-year funding of $30.55 million to 39 arts and cultural organisations through the Organisations Fund 2017–2020 to deliver arts and cultural activities that generate public value to Queensland. Compared to 2014–16, this funding represents an annual increase of $570,000 ($2.28 million over four years) and funding for four additional organisations.
    • Invested $2.08 million in 59 regional Queensland councils. This funding leveraged a further $1.98 million from local governments, bringing the partnership total up to $4.06 million for regional arts and cultural projects.
    • Allocated $3.15 million as part of a four-year commitment of $12.6 million towards the Backing Indigenous Arts initiative that includes support for:
      • 14 Indigenous art centres
      • Cairns Indigenous Art Fair
      • Winds of Zenadth Cultural Festival and Laura Aboriginal Dance Festival
      • professional development opportunities for Indigenous artists including opportunities to exhibit and tour work internationally.
    • Supported investment of $2.8 million, through the Playing Queensland Fund which will support more than 20 regional tours, delivering more than 1600 performances, exhibitions and community engagement activities in more than 400 visits to Queensland communities.
    • Initial consultation and business case development was undertaken for regional arts delivery that best supports regional and Indigenous initiatives across the state, which resulted in a 2017–18 budget allocation of $6.5 million over four years.
    • Supported 74 applications totalling $2.43 million through the Queensland Arts Showcase Program focused on creating employment and training opportunities for Queensland-based artists and arts workers. This included 44 applications from or supporting regional Queensland, totalling $1.5 million.
    • Developed a new Arts Infrastructure Investment Framework to grow a vibrant and sustainable arts and culture sector in Queensland that prioritises infrastructure projects on state-owned arts and cultural facilities, which resulted in a $17.5 million budget allocation in the 2017–18 budget over four years.
    • Commenced the $2.25 million Cremorne Theatre, Queensland Performing Arts Centre refurbishment including redesign of stage and seating.
    • Secured an uplift to Queensland Museum’s (QM) recurrent funding, with an additional $3.2 million into QM’s funding from 2017–18, and $850,000 allocated in 2016–17, to support the care and preservation of QM’s state collection. This collection has grown in value from $391 million in 2010–11 to $487 million in 2015–16 with a collection of more than 1.2 million objects and specimens and more than 14 million research items.
    • Continued to implement the essential $28 million infrastructure upgrade program across Queensland’s premier cultural institutions ensuring Queensland’s arts assets provide world class experiences for visitors to Brisbane’s heritage-listed Cultural Precinct.
    • Completed the business case for a new performing arts venue with input from 150 stakeholders.
    • Finalised the Queensland Cultural Centre Conservation Management Plan, informed through public consultation and guidance from the Queensland Cultural Precinct Design and Heritage Roundtable. The plan provides a framework to understand, manage and preserve the heritage value of the Cultural Centre and will guide future planning.
    • Facilitated the appointment of board members for Arts Statutory Bodies and Companies including the Queensland Art Gallery Board, Queensland Performing Arts Trust, Queensland Museum, Queensland Theatre Company, Screen Queensland, Major Brisbane Festivals, Queensland Music Festival and the Aboriginal Centre for Performing Arts.

    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 2016–17
    Service: Investment programs
    Service standards
    Effectiveness measure
    Customer satisfaction with Arts Queensland’s service delivery
    1 90% 90%
    Efficiency measure
    Funding provided to arts and cultural sector as a proportion of arts operating budget
    2 73% 73%
    Service: Facilities management
    Service standards
    Effectiveness measure
    Utilisation of state-owned arts and cultural facilities
    3 5,500,000 visitors 6,625,837 visitors
    Efficiency measure
    Self-generated revenue as a percentage of total revenue
    4 17% 17%


    1. This service standard is a measure of overall customer satisfaction with Arts Queensland service delivery. The method of calculating this measure is based on the Queensland Government Performance Management Framework Measuring Customer Experience Reference Guide.
    2. This service standard is a measure of efficiency as it demonstrates the relationship between the results achieved (arts and culture funding provided to the public) for the resources used (costs of administering funding). The calculation takes Arts Queensland’s total grants investment divided by Arts Queensland total allocation (excluding administered funding and property management costs).
    3. This service standard is based on the total attendance figures at the Cultural Precinct South Bank and the Judith Wright Centre of Contemporary Arts. The 2016–17 Actual is higher than expected due to strong audience response to the free GOMA Turns 10 celebratory program, Marvel: Creating the Cinematic Universe and the 2017 World Science Festival Brisbane, the Dinosaur Discovery exhibitions and related programming at the Queensland Museum.
    4. This service standard measures Arts Queensland’s efficiency in leveraging the government’s investment in Queensland’s premier cultural facilities through revenue generated that contributes to facilities management costs.

    Case studies

    Four-year funding realises arts-led outcomes for Queensland’s disability community

    In 2016–17 Arts Queensland introduced four-year core funding for Queensland’s small to medium arts and cultural sector, which increased funding to the sector and supported eight new arts organisations including Blue Roo Theatre Company.

    Through the Organisations Fund (2017–20), Blue Roo Theatre Company will receive $280,000 over the four years to deliver a program that works to remove barriers and advance community participation for people with disability.

    Blue Roo works to achieve this by providing opportunities for people with disability to be actively involved and engaged in the performing arts.

    In 2016–17, Blue Roo expanded new productions and programs for people with disability by exploring new and innovative partnerships, and will be part of the 2018 Commonwealth Games cultural program, presenting their work, Sea.

    Blue Roo is also participating in an Artist-in-Residency program at Sunnybank Special School providing young people with disability opportunities to develop and express their creative potential through mentoring, exploration and experimentation through performing arts activities and events.

    The $30.5 million Organisations Fund 2017–2020 funded 39 Queensland arts and cultural organisations. Other new entrants included Topology, Bleached Arts, Backbone, BlakDance Australia, Playlab, Queensland Youth Orchestras and Queensland Poetry Festival.

    Arts infrastructure project supports the growth and storage of Queensland’s state collection

    Upgraded Collection Storage at the Queensland Art Gallery.

    Upgraded Collection Storage at the Queensland Art Gallery.
    Image courtesy: QAGOMA Photograph: Natasha Harth

    Queensland Art Gallery/Gallery of Modern Art (QAGOMA) is Queensland’s premier visual arts institution with a collection comprising more than 17,000 historical and contemporary works—connecting people and art through dynamic exhibitions and programs.

    The collection, some items more than 5000 years old, has been housed on level five of Queensland Art Gallery since the building opened in the 1980s. Arts Queensland’s $3.8 million Queensland Art Gallery Collection Storage Mezzanine Floor project in 2016–17 has ensured these artworks are perfectly preserved for future generations.

    Responding to Arts Queensland’s 2014 storage review for the Cultural Precinct, and supported by historical evidence that a mezzanine was an original intention for a storage area in Queensland Art Gallery, the project commenced in September 2016 and was completed in May 2017.

    These works were part of the $28 million allocated over four years to support critical infrastructure works within the Cultural Precinct as announced in the 2015–16 State Budget.

    Arts Queensland worked with QAGOMA, the builder and architect to create a mezzanine floor and hanging system in the existing storage space that has increased the floor space by 30 per cent to 2165m2 and increased the hanging storage by more than 1000m2.

    Queensland Art Gallery now has more permanent storage space and an increased capacity to reconfigure gallery spaces to enhance exhibition areas. This will allow more of its collection pieces to go on public display, including some significant presentations of works telling important stories about Queensland.

    Future directions for 2017–18

    • Engage the Queensland arts sector to develop and implement a new regional framework—with $6.5 million over four years to deliver Indigenous and regional arts initiatives that will employ dedicated regionally-based arts officers.
    • Invest $2.1 million to implement a dedicated arts incubator space for startup Indigenous performance companies and support new performance commissions at the Cairns Centre of Contemporary Arts and within Indigenous communities.
    • Provide funding of $4.4 million to transform the Sciencentre at the Queensland Museum into a cutting-edge, interactive Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics centre to inspire the next generation of Queenslanders.
    • Provide $17.5 million over four years for an Arts Infrastructure Investment Fund administered under the new Arts Infrastructure Investment Framework with priorities for 2017–18 including the upgrade of the Bille Brown Studio.
    • Continue to invest $12.8 million through contestable funding programs including the Organisations Fund, Queensland Arts Showcase Program and Playing Queensland Fund.

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    Last updated:
    15 February, 2018
    Last reviewed:
    24 January, 2018