News November 28, 2018

Brisbane’s Metro Arts planning move as part of 40th celebrations

Brisbane’s Metro Arts planning move as part of 40th celebrations

Brisbane’s multi-arts association Metro Arts will not be celebrating its 40th anniversary until 2020.

But earlier this week, it unveiled its vision for the next 40 years at a public meeting.

These include the staging of a major festival and a planned move to new premises.

CEO and creative director Jo Thomas said: “Metro Arts is not just a building, it’s a dynamic multi-arts organisation and suite of creative services deserving of an inspiring, well-maintained, inclusive and accessible home.

“It’s time for a bold new direction and a new, modern, fit-for-purpose home will allow us to refocus our priorities on supporting more artists, developing more new work, invigorating Brisbane’s cultural scene and providing exceptional experiences to audiences.”

The organisation has been based in the 129-year-old building at 109 Edward Street since 1980.

But in recent years it’s been obvious to staff that the heritage-building has reached its use-by date as far as its specialised requirements were concerned.

The Metro Arts board has been approached by several prospective buyers and will work with property firm JLL to consider each offer.

Chair of the board John Dunleavy observed: “Metro Arts has a long history of re-inventing itself in response to the community’s needs.  This is our next step.

“We have spent many months carefully researching our options and working closely with the state government and Brisbane City Council.”

Metro Arts plan to stay at 109 Edward Street until mid-2020. But that will depend on the sale schedule and working with the festival in February.

Metro Arts also plan to establish a Public Ancillary Fund with the sale proceeds to fund arts projects and initiatives for decades into the future.

“Money spent on Heritage maintenance is money not spent on artists and art programs,” Thomas said.

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