Metro Arts has been, and is, so many things to so many people. Some see it as a collection of artists under one roof, others simply as a venue, others a bridge into professional practice while others a place where risk can happen. Of course it is and remains all of these things, however it’s hard to encapsulate that in a vision and at time the needs of our stakeholders can be seen to compete. This is why I thought it best to think about a ‘Whole of Organisation Vision’, one that encapsulated the different functions, needs and opportunities Metro Arts encompasses for our diverse stakeholders.
Metro Arts is our trading name, however our constitutional name is ‘Brisbane Community Arts Centre Ltd.’ With this in mind Metro Arts has three functions that it must commit to in order to serve our stakeholders and to realise the full potential of the organisation and venue.
They are a responsive ‘Artistic Vision’ and a commitment to ‘Social Inclusion’ balanced with ‘Commercial Sustainability’. Together these three organisational functions include everything we can do for, and want to do with, our stakeholders to maintain a healthy, innovative and inclusive ‘Community Arts Centre’.
The diagram below shows the interrelationship of these functions. Our artistic vision is highly responsive to local needs first – we fill a gap in the representation of artists in Brisbane who are practicing in Contemporary Arts. When you mix this with our commitment to social inclusion you get contemporary arts work that values a diversity of representation. Expand this vision further and we endeavour to match our need for contemporary art and social inclusion with a commercially sustainable business model that fosters a critical mass of artists in the building, a place where art and artists can share and make new work together.At any given time the rationale for one part of this vision can work in tandem with another, oppose it or work in isolation, and that’s alright because all of these functions are necessary for a ‘Whole of Organisational Vision’. However it’s the ‘sweet spot’ in the middle we are trying to achieve. Begging the question, ‘How can we develop socially inclusive, commercially sustainable and rigorous contemporary art?’