Metro Arts 2024 Season

Metro Arts 2024 Season

Image: INVADER-IMRSE. Photo by L&M Photography Co.

Brisbane’s Metro Arts launches their 2024 season after a dramatic blow to the organisation’s ongoing national government support. Beth Keehn reports

Late last year, Genevieve Trace, new Executive Director of Brisbane’s Metro Arts, was faced with the challenge of losing important funding support from Creative Australia (formerly the Australia Council for the Arts) for 2025 to 2028. The funding decision has sparked much soul-searching from the organisation, but thankfully their 2024 season is unaffected.

Image: Genevieve Trace. Photographer: Morgan Roberts

Since its inception in the 1980s as the Community Arts Centre in old former government warehouse on Edward Street, Metro Arts has always been a mixed-use space that provided rehearsal, workshop and training space for arts practitioners alongside presentation areas for music, film and visual arts, and a stage for independent theatre. After the funding announcement, Genevieve reminded us:

“Over its 43-year legacy, Metro Arts has been an indispensable catalyst for numerous iconic Australian playwrights, visual artists, artistic companies, and creatives. Notable figures such as Wesley Enoch AM, Vernon Ah Kee, Gemma Smith, Robert Andrew, Liesel Zink, The Farm and many more have found, if not their beginnings, then unwavering support in their early practice development at Metro Arts. In 2023 alone Metro Arts supported over 400 artists, alongside the development of 32 new Australian works, welcoming over 32,000 patrons through its gallery and theatre doors.”

The Metro Arts 2024 season upholds this legacy as a space for experimentation, innovation and mixed genres. The program features 13 art exhibitions, five mainstage productions, and the debut of a new experimental dance festival. Genevieve said: "As a multi-art form institution, Metro Arts exists as a launchpad for emerging talent in Australia.”

Program highlights include:

- a two-week dance festival – Dance24

- an interactive theatre experience for children, Scaredy House, by award-winning collective Counterpilot

- an international First Nations Exchange (CONTAINER x Metro Arts) held in partnership with Container: Brisbane Film Society.

Image: Scardyhouse by Counterpilot. Photographer: Sean Downling.

And, while federal government funding may be in question, the Queensland government showed their support, with the season officially launched by the Honourable Leeanne Enoch MP, Minister for Treaty, Minister for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Partnerships, Minister for Communities and Minister for the Arts, who said: “The Queensland Government is proud to support Metro Arts in fostering innovative contemporary arts performances and experiences, and building sustainable careers for local artists and arts workers, as key priorities of our 10-year Creative Together strategy, and through the Strategic Partnerships Fund.”

Also, through its Creative Development Program, Metro Arts will offer residencies to Joshua Taliani and The Deadly Theatre Company, Counterpilot and IMRSE.

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