I am a marketing and communications consultant and freelance writer. Living on the Gold Coast in Australia. Check out my website www.sarahsays.com.au or follow on Twitter @WENGoldCoast
Published September 17th 2012
Attack of the Arts
I recently wrote an article about free things to do on the Gold Coast where I briefly mentioned the City Art Gallery at The Arts Centre Gold Coast. Always wanting to champion the arts where I can, I really wanted to write an article dedicated to the Arts Centre - it has so much on offer that a brief mention really wasn't enough.
Very much wanting to do the place justice I contacted them and was invited down to have a tour, and meet some of the staff. So, with camera and notepad in hand off I went to discover what they have to offer over in Surfers Paradise – and I was surprised to discover just how much they have all under one roof.
Located on Bundall Road in Surfers Paradise (just by Chevron Island), The Arts Centre Gold Coast is this year celebrating its 25-year and as result it set itself the enormous task of running 25 events this year. Tough for them, but great for us who get to enjoy a huge variety of quality entertainment throughout the year.
I met with Sue-Anne, the Marketing and Partnership Manager who was happy to spare some time to speak to me. She said that their mission at the Arts Centre is "to inspire and engage the Gold Coast community through a diverse programme of visual and performing arts" and certainly from what I learnt they are doing just that.
She also told me of their key aim in engaging the local youth culture in visual and performing arts, a very worthy cause, which has seen them develop a specialist youth programme and children's series in the hope of nurturing, entertaining and getting them to engage in the arts from an early age. The hope is to give them a creative outlet, stimulate their minds and open up a variety of styles, cultures and media that perhaps they wouldn't usually see. To read about their youth programme click here.
The Arts Centre are forward thinking in their approach and by no means all talk, they understand that reaching the youth market isn't easy. So together with traditional marketing they have developed a robust Digital and Social Media presence through Facebook, Twitter and others outlets such as Instagram all run by very friendly Daniela (Social Media Coordinator) who showed me around.
I know from experience that providing a complete range of activities that appeals to such a diverse audience like the Gold Coast, which is both informative and entertaining, is not an easy task. The staff at the Art centre work hard to ensure that they have a balanced mix of shows, films, exhibitions, events, workshops, comedy, music and more that appeals to every age, every taste and every budget.
The event programme changes every three months, so there are always a constant stream of new shows, exhibitions, events and productions being added all the time, and what may be gut-wrenching drama one week, may be laugh-out-loud crazy comedy the next. That's the great thing about a place like this it is always changing, always thriving and always evolving.
So here is my summary of what's on:
Theatre The Arts Centre has two theatres which hosts many wonderful shows from dance to drama, music to comedy and everything in-between. The main "Arts Theatre" seats around 1200 and is not surprisingly, used for the larger theatre productions and shows. Then they have "The Space" which is a smaller venue that seats around 100 people, and is used for the more intimate shows, workshops and talks.
The exhibitions change regularly - see what is coming soon here. The galleries also host a number of free talks, workshops and social events too, such as the current Art, Architecture and Design Lecture Series which is totally free, all you have to do is register to attend.
The Arts Centre has two large cinemas, wonderfully named Cinema 1 (150 seats) and Cinema 2 (250 seats), that provide a mix of modern and none mainstream and arthouse films.
It's a great crowd that go to the cinema - very friendly groups or individuals who really get into the swing of things and can often be seen standing and clapping at the end of a great film. You are allowed to take in wine (yay) and beer into the cinema - which may explain the standing and clapping. The seats are very spacious and comfy and the ticket prices are almost half the price of regular chain cinemas.
I went there on my own recently and met to lovely ladies who I am now happy to call friends. It's a fun regular gang, so I always enjoy going there.
This is the evening venue especially for the grown ups, with Friday nights being comedy night and Saturday being more about music and dance including burlesque nights, jazz nights, cabaret nights and more. They have some world class stars playing and have a number of dinner and show packages available. The bar usually opens at 6.30pm with the shows starting at 7.30/8pm. Find out more about the basement here.
This is an intimate bar and bistro venue which hosts everything from jazz and blues nights, cookery, quiz and game nights, magic shows, Philharmonic Orchestra performances and talks and workshop events covering everything from gardening to food and wine.
Food and Drink
The Arts Centre has a full bar and cafe restaurant offering everything from breakfast, snacks, dinner, coffee, cakes and drinks. The Arts Cafe has two large terraces where you can soak up the sun and relax before you watch a show, take in some art, see some comedy or go to the cinema. The perfect place to meet mates before or after a show. The prices are pretty reasonable and from what I could see (without being too nosy) the food looked amazing.
Understanding that not everyone can get down to the Arts Centre they have devised an off site series of everts that brings the art and culture to you, by working with a number of external agencies.
The Arts Centre gets involved with events such as The Surfers Paradise Festival and provides a number of exhibitions and performers. This year they showcased Concrete Jungle a progressive theatre group and Captured a photography exhibition. They are also involved with events such as Swell Sculpture Festival and are co producers on productions at events such as the Bleech Festival.
They always support local up and coming writers, artists and performers - doing everything they can to raise the profile of The Arts on the Gold Coast.
They have a special day dedicated to kids this coming school holiday with a varierty of activities including shows, classes, music, performances, workshops, crafts, drama and much more on Wednesday 3 October from 9am to 3pm. Bring the whole family and see what's on offer - you can find out more here.
They truly offer a massive variety of events - it would be impossible not to find something that takes your interest. I urge everyone to go down to the Arts Centre at least once and see what they have on - book a show, go to the gallery, the theatre, basement or cinema, but go! A truly wonderful place that for me has just about everything I love under one roof in a fabulous cultural package.