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Karen Quinlan appointed as Arts Centre Melbourne Chief Executive

Karen Quinlan appointed as Arts Centre Melbourne Chief Executive
August 3, 2022

Former director of Bendigo Art Gallery and current Chief Executive of the National Portrait Gallery in Canberra, Karen Quinlan has taken on the role of Chief Executive at Arts Centre Melbourne, commencing 3rd October.

Quinlan has been appointed to lead Arts Centre Melbourne – which includes the spire-topped Theatres Building, Hamer Hall and the Sidney Myer Music Bowl.

Known for her transformative role as Director of Bendigo Art Gallery from 2000 until 2018, Quinlan built the gallery’s reputation on the world stage though major international partnerships and blockbuster exhibitions.

Under her leadership, Bendigo Art Gallery became a major driver of cultural tourism and boosted the region’s economy. Over the past four years, Quinlan has steered the National Portrait Gallery through a period of change and renewed ambition, extending its national reach and profile.

Formerly Chair of the Public Galleries Association of Victoria and serving on boards including Melbourne Fashion Festival and State Library Victoria, Quinlan was also a member of the 2015 Creative Industries Taskforce which informed the Victorian Government’s first Creative State strategy.

In 2019, Quinlan was awarded an Order of Australia medal for services to the arts.

Quinlan joins Arts Centre Melbourne as it embarks on a major upgrade as part of the $1.7 billion Melbourne Arts Precinct Transformation project which includes the refurbishment of the historic State Theatre.

Victorian Minister for Creative Industries Steve Dimopoulos notes “an exceptional creative leader, Karen brings her vast credentials and talent to drive this next pivotal stage for our iconic Arts Centre, playing an important role in the transformation of our arts precinct more broadly.

“Karen’s ambitious thinking has seen her forge a dynamic career, growing compelling cultural destinations across Australia – her appointment will see one of Victoria’s most significant cultural institutions continue to flourish.”

President of the Victorian Arts Centre Trust Ian Carson advised “Karen is well respected nationally and internationally. Her strength working across the arts sector, bringing innovation and fresh thinking, and her deep commitment to diversity and inclusion made her a compelling candidate.”

Quinlan enthused “I am excited and energised by the prospect of leading the extraordinary team at Art Centre Melbourne, embracing change and growth and importantly delivering a world class experience for the community in my home town!”

Related Articles

2nd August 2022 - Board appointed to lead Melbourne Arts Precinct Transformation project

25th July 2022 - Work commences on transformation of Melbourne Arts Precinct

29th September 2021 - Arts Centre Melbourne campaign showcases the value of the performing arts to the community

11th July 2019 - Arts Centre Melbourne ready to host 19th Annual Helpmann Awards

17th April 2019 - New President named for Arts Centre Melbourne

11th October 2018 - Arts Centre Melbourne marks World Mental Health Day with Arts Wellbeing Collective launch

2nd September 2018 - Architects appointed to reimagine Arts Centre Melbourne

23rd September 2017 - Arts Centre Melbourne to be home to Australia’s music hall of fame

14th October 2015 - James MacKenzie named new President of Arts Centre Melbourne

17th January 2013 - National Theatre Marketing Director to join Arts Centre Melbourne

29th November 2012 - HOSTPLUS agrees five year Arts Centre Melbourne sponsorship

17th September 2012 - Kyle Johnston and Jodie Bennett join Arts Centre Melbourne executive team


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