Arts centre reopens after $3.1m refurbishments

Minister for Communities and Housing, Minister for Digital Economy and Minister for the Arts The Honourable Leeanne Enoch

The Judith Wright Arts Centre has officially reopened after undergoing $3.1 million in refurbishments, transforming the centre into a modern and dynamic hub for Queensland artists and art workers.

Minister for the Arts Leeanne Enoch said the new centre was now fitted out with new shop fronts, office space, rehearsal and performance areas thanks to funding provided by the Palaszczuk Government.

“The $3.1 million in funding from the Palaszczuk Government has transformed the Judith Wright Arts Centre (JWAC) into so much more than just a performance centre,” Minister Enoch said.

“It is now serving as a dynamic hub for some of Queensland’s most vibrant arts organisations and is helping to create new opportunities for Queensland artists to create and showcase work.

“The arts are key to delivering our plan for economic recovery, each year contributing $8.5 billion into the state’s economy and supporting more than 92,000 jobs for Queenslanders, which is why our Government is investing in critical arts infrastructure such as the JWAC.

“Through the Arts Infrastructure Investment Fund, our Government has provided $17.5 million over four years to revitalise state-owned assets to support the arts sector in Queensland and boost the economy.”

The refurbishment of JWAC includes a corner gallery space to showcase Queensland artists, as well as digital arts projections onto the building’s façade.

Three new tenants have also moved into the building, including Outer Space, The Little Red Company and Anywhere Festival.

“This refurbishment is another example of the Palaszczuk Government’s investment in the arts, which we know has been impacted by the pandemic,” Minister Enoch said.

“As part of our Government’s $22.5 million Arts and Cultural Recovery Package to support the industry following the impacts of COVID-19, we are also supporting 11 new arts projects with almost $300,000 in funding through the First Night Showcase Judith Wright Arts Centre program.”

Minister for Education and Member for McConnel Grace Grace said the Judith Wright Arts Centre had been a vibrant cultural destination since opening in 2001.

“JWAC provides a creative space for exciting visual arts programming and the development and presentation of original and innovative contemporary performance works,” Ms Grace said.

“To have some of Queensland’s leading arts organisations under the one roof is a fantastic opportunity for our local community to experience arts and culture to the fullest.

“The Palaszczuk Government supports independent artists and organisations, and I look forward to seeing the new visual and performing arts works that are sparked in this newly renovated hub in the heart of my electorate.”

Courtney Coombs, Director of Outer Space said “we are incredibly thankful to Arts Queensland for their support and for fostering the growth of Outer Space Contemporary Arts Organisation.

“The gallery and funding Arts Queensland has provided, has enabled us to commission artists, arts workers and writers to develop new work for public presentation across six group exhibitions.

“This exciting program of new work will be accompanied by a suite of public programs and engagement activities that will extend the support of the local and regional communities and will broaden the audience for our organisation and contemporary art in Queensland”.

In addition to Outer Space, The Little Red Company and Anywhere Festival, JWAC is home to Queensland arts companies including; Aboriginal Centre for Performing Arts, Artour, AusDance Queensland, BlakDance, Circa, Creative Partnerships Australia, Australasian Dance Company, Flying Arts Alliance, Institute of Modern Art, Musica Viva and Carbon Creative.

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