The Who and What

Arts Cairns is Arts Queensland’s direct representation in the north of the state, and was born from the amalgamation of the former Cairns Regional Office (CRO) and the Centre of Contemporary Arts Cairns.

The Centre of Contemporary Arts Cairns at 96 Abbott Street is a significant piece of Queensland Government regional arts infrastructure consisting of The Theatre, a 241 seat black box theatre, The Space, a large open plan rehearsal and performance venue, two A Class galleries, meeting and workshop facilities , Paradiso Cairns Cafe, and our Theatre bar number 96.

The Centre of Contemporary Arts Cairns is also home to resident AQ funded companies JUTE Theatre Company and KickArts Contemporary Arts, as well as partnering with End Credits Film Club to provide the ongoing contemporary cinema program, Unseen Cinema. The Centre is also home to Far North Queensland's Queensland Museum office.

Based at the Centre of Contemporary Arts Cairns, the Arts Cairns team are responsible for Arts Queensland's program delivery and infrastructure management in Cairns and Far North Queensland.

In 2014 we introduced the Fresh Ground initiative to provide space and support for Queensland Artists.

More specifically:


  • Represent Arts Queensland in the north to build strategic relationships, alliances and partnerships with local, national and international arts/cultural industry, regional government offices and the local business and tourism community.
  • Provide support and guidance for Far North Queensland Artists and assist in developing and brokering development and presentation opportunities both locally and nationally.
  • Develop and coordinate an overall program for CoCA Cairns to activate the centre and deliver on the vision of the centre as a dynamic innovative showcase for contemporary arts.
  • Oversee the delivery in Far North Queensland of projects contributing to Arts Queensland programs such as Arts for All Queenslanders Strategy, Backing Indigenous Arts and the Indigenous Regional Arts Development Fund.
  • Manage use of the facilities of the centre as additional non cash support for Queensland Artists by providing space and resources for development and presentation of new work.
  • Focus the centre inline with the Arts Queensland tourism strategy to provide opportunities to enhance cultural tourism in the north.