About us

Creativity. Vitality. Flourishing.

Here at Geelong Arts Centre, we believe that the arts have the power to shape people, society and the world.

We exist to foster the artists and creative communities of Geelong, and to be the window through which our city can view the world’s creative talent.

We respectfully acknowledge the Traditional Custodians of the land on which Geelong Arts Centre stands, the Wadawurrung People of the Kulin Nation. We pay our respects to their Elders past, to Elders present and to emerging leaders, recognising their continuing connection to land, water, culture and community.

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Geelong Arts Centre Chief Executive Officer, Joel McGuinness

Our history

Here at Geelong Arts Centre, we believe that the arts have the power to shape people, society and the world.

We exist to foster the artists and creative communities of Geelong, and to be the window through which our city can view the world’s creative talent.

Established in 1981 Geelong Arts Centre is the major provider of arts experiences in Geelong and the G21 Region. We welcome 180,00 visitors and 15,000 artists across multiple theatres studios and creative spaces.

We are also home to Creative Engine our artist-development initiative that fosters pathways to professional artistic practice.​

​Creative Engine supports local artists and creative industries through professional development, workshops, networking, events and funding opportunities.​

Geelong Arts Centre is currently undergoing a period of immense change, in 2019 we opened our Ryrie Street Redevelopment.

The next stage of our redevelopment supported by the Victorian Government with a $140 million dollar investment will provide Geelong and the region with a vibrant, inclusive and dynamic creative centre that will attract and host the best local, national and international performances.

Due to be completed in 2023 the redevelopment will significantly expand the capacity of Geelong Arts Centre with multiple new performance venues, an upgraded box office and refurbished back-of-house and administration facilities with more dining options and will be the jewel of Geelong’s Cultural district when complete,

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Geelong Arts Centre, Ryrie Street Building

Geelong Performing Arts Centre

Construction of the new Geelong Performing Arts Centre designed by Mr Andrew Reed commenced in 1979, and in 1980 we saw the Geelong Hospital’s Medimime troupe rehearse Mother Goose in the new Ford Theatre. (Medimime still present an annual performance in the theatre).

In 1981, GPAC officially opened its doors, with two theatres, four conference and event spaces, a restaurant and café. It went on to see GPAC’s resident theatre group The Wooly Jumpers form in 1987, with members including playwright Hannie Rayson and actor Rachel Griffiths.

GPAC celebrated its 10th birthday with a street party and concert and introduced its theatre subscription series to present quality touring productions. Subscriptions sell out in two weeks!

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Construction of Geelong Art Centre complete in 1981, Little Malop St

Today, the arts centre is a well utilised facility providing a wide range of performances and events, and the opportunity for participation in the performing arts. The organisation is committed to excellence in all that it does, ensuring an exciting and bright future. Geelong Arts Centre is one of a group of state owned cultural agencies including Arts Centre Melbourne, Museums Victoria, National Gallery of Victoria, State Library of Victoria, Australian Centre for Moving Image (ACMI), Melbourne Recital Centre, Film Victoria and Dockland Studios Melbourne.

It is a Statutory Authority and was established by the Geelong Performing Arts Centre Trust Act 1980 No 9406. The Minister responsible is Steve Dimopoulos, Minister for Creative Industries. Geelong Arts Centre gratefully acknowledges financial assistance from the Victorian Government through Creative Victoria, Department Economic Development, Jobs, Transport and Resources.

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Mechanics Institute, Ryrie Street (2007)

Our future

Geelong Arts Centre is leading the way for the creative industries in Geelong and the surrounding region, embarking on an ambitious upgrade to both operations and bricks-and-mortar spaces.

We aim to become the Creative Heart of Geelong: an artery between creative industries and community to global thinking and extraordinary experiences. To achieve this, we’ve identified three long-term objectives: Creativity, Vitality and Flourishing.

Ryrie Street Facade. Photo Credit: Rory Gardiner

Render: Hassell Studio

To delivery our strategic objectives, four focus areas and two key enablers have been identified:

  • Grow creative capability within the region
  • Deliver audience-centred programming
  • Deliver exceptional customer experience
  • Be an employer of choice
  • Diversify revenue streams
  • Enhance systems and capabilities
Read more

Render: Hassell Studio


For media enquiries and resources, please visit our media centre.

Media Centre

Working at Geelong Arts Centre

Ever thought of stepping behind the curtain?

With the arts centre’s $38.5 million Ryrie Street Redevelopment now open - adding studios, co-working and new performing spaces to the centre - and the $140 million Little Malop Street Redevelopment in the works, there’s never been a better time to join the team.

For more information about joining our team, visit our careers page.

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