Metro Arts – an independent arts centre at the heart of Brisbane – is about to start a new chapter at its new home in West End. But this is just one of many changes this resilient organisation has made its own.
For 40 years, Metro Arts inhabited 109 Edward Street, a six-storey building built in 1889, which has served as warehouse for household goods, biscuits, hats, supplies during World War II and – later, government offices and, finally, Brisbane Community Arts Centre.
On the level that was once the Immigration Department, artists have created multilingual works. In the former drug squad HQ, ‘art’ has become indistinguishable from ‘party’. In the old Electoral Office, artists have voted again and again for their community – with their time, energy, resources and (when available) money. To be at 109 Edward Street wasn’t just to make art. It was to make mistakes, to mend and to make do.
No record can capture every moment – every coffee shared, every spark ignited, every alliance formed, every risk taken, every show rehearsed, exhibited or staged. But through the voices of over 40 Metro community members, Art Starts Here: 40 Years of Metro Arts charts the living history of Metro Arts, from its gutsy DIY beginnings to its bright future.
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