Skip links
Published on: Uncategorised


HOTA, Home of the Arts has been announced as the recipient of the Innovator Award at the Performing Arts Connections (PAC) Australia Impact Awards 2022 last night.

The awards celebrate excellence in performing arts, leadership, new thinking and best practice, with a focus on lasting impact in communities.

HOTA was presented with the award last night at the Sydney Opera House in recognition of the organisation’s leadership and innovation in the development and delivery of models that support artist and sector development, particularly through HOTA’s ArtKeeper program.

In 2021 HOTA piloted a new way to support artists and help them to keep creating art through ArtKeeper. This, now nationally recognised model of artist support, placed four artists on HOTA’s payroll for five months, providing income security, fair work conditions and organisation-wide support to develop new work and ideas.

HOTA CEO, Criena Gehrke expressed her sentiments on the achievement:

“I’m proud that the ArtKeeper program has been recognised by our industry peers with an award that celebrates innovation. It’s truly exciting and proves that our instincts to develop this program were correct,” she said

“We always say that you can’t be the Home of the Arts without having a deep commitment to supporting artists and for this program and concept to have now been recognised nationally in this way is amazing.”

The 2021 ArtKeeper program was transformational demonstrating what practicing artists can contribute not just through their creative work, but through their unique perspectives in the workplace.

The award recognition coincides with the launch of HOTA’s ArtKeeper Program for 2022 and kicking off the search for four bold, contemporary artists to come on board this year.

The successful candidates will be placed on payroll for three days per week from November 2022 through until June 2023. They will work onsite at HOTA, across a range of spaces depending on their artistic practice and requirements, including the $60.5 million HOTA Gallery.

It’s part of HOTA’s ongoing commitment to helping artists connected to the Gold Coast region to take risks, experiment, and create great art.

“After the success of the first ArtKeeper program, we are excited to continue the program for 2022/23. Our commitment to evolve the program is firm and through this our commitment to artists and ensuring their contribution can continue is our passion. It’s a testament to the program that we can deliver this through ArtKeeper again this year,” added Ms Gehrke.

As part of ArtKeeper, HOTA has once again engaged internationally acclaimed playwright and artistic director Wesley Enoch AM, as Artist Provocateur for the roles, to ask key questions for artists to consider as they create, provide feedback, and support the artists throughout their contract.

“Artists and creative thinkers shape the way we see the world, explore complex ideas and help bring us together,” said Mr Enoch.

“The Gold Coast is a place full of creative thinkers who often get lost in the shadow of the Tourism and Lifestyle image of surf, sun and beach. Artistic endeavours, creativity and an entrepreneurial spirit are the human face of the Gold Coast.”

Artists will need to propose a project, idea or workplan to deliver during their time with HOTA. These ideas can be based on any art form or artistic practice honed by the individual artist.

Applications close on Tuesday 20 September and shortlisted applicants will be contacted in the following weeks for an interview to discuss their suitability for the position.

This initiative is a demonstration of HOTA’s ongoing commitment to supporting the City’s cultural and artistic evolution.

For more information on the ArtKeeper program and position description, visit their website:

Media contact: