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QUT major creative industries expansion opens

23rd August 2016

QUT is firmly cementing its position as a premier creative industries teaching and learning university, with a hat-trick of announcements and events this week.

Queensland Premier and Minister for the Arts Annastacia Palaszczuk opened the second phase of QUT’s Creative Industries Precinct expansion today (23 August).

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The centrepiece of the new Creative Industries Precinct expansion is a six-storey building accommodating QUT’s dance, drama, music, visual arts, creative writing, animation and creative research programs, and pulsing with a state-of-the-art digital backbone.

“As the first university in Australia to establish a Creative Industries faculty, QUT has delivered ground-breaking arts, media and design courses, cutting edge research, and has a track record in growing the creative economy,” Premier Palaszczuk said.

“My government recognises that creativity is vital to harnessing innovation and ingenuity to build a strong economy for Queensland and take the State further, faster,” she said.

QUT Vice-Chancellor Professor Coaldrake said Kelvin Grove’s rich Indigenous and military history had not been forgotten in the expansion of QUT’s Creative Industries Precinct.

He said the new development had preserved and repurposed four buildings of historical significance, including a 1914 infantry drill hall considered to be the most significant building in Kelvin Grove.

“The Creative Industries Precinct extends across the heritage-listed Gona Army Barracks site while the Frank Moran Memorial Hall is now a dedicated visual arts gallery space,” Professor Coaldrake said.

He added that the Creative Industries Precinct also pays respect to the Turrbal people who lived in the area prior to the arrival of Europeans, with spaces such as Kulgun Park which is named for the Turrbal word meaning path or road.

The opening of the building will be followed, on Sunday 28 August, by CreateX, when QUT throws open its doors to the public for a technology-fuelled taste of the future of entertainment.

Professor Coaldrake invited the public to QUT’s Kelvin Grove campus to enjoy the event, Queensland’s first festival dedicated to the intersection of creativity and technology, and packed with the latest advances in virtual reality (VR), augmented reality (AR), hybrid performance, design, fashion, film and interactive and visual media.

CreateX director Professor Andy Arthurs said the festival would shine a light on new trends and careers in the rapidly-growing creative industries sector.

Among the kaleidoscope of creative works from QUT’s world-leading staff and alumni, the public can experience truly immersive virtual and augmented reality – in a room that feels like a Star Trek-style holodeck.

“This is a first for Australia because there’s simply no other dedicated creative industries research and development lab in the country, and certainly no facilities with this level of VR and AR research capability,” said QUT communication design expert Dr Deb Polson, who has created the Museum of Colliding Dimensions.

“The museum is an experimental installation that enables the public to explore an alien world through
complex 3D projections, dynamic lighting and interactive sound with visitors’ movements directly
influencing and changing the environment around them.”

Professor Arthurs described the festival as a house­warming event in QUT’s creative heart.

The one-day CreateX festival of dazzling interactive performances and events, immersive games, workshops, films, robotics displays, talks and panels includes:

  • Garden of Miniscule Delights – and beautiful interaction between performers, robots and the public where punters must work alongside performers and robots to restore harmony to the garden.
  • Copernicus Challenge – the world’s first festival-wide, real life, AR adventure game, where teams of up to five people discover, solve and explore the hidden world of the Copernicus Guild.
  • Flow – the world’s first multi-room music recording experience where the public can mix their own version of the performance using QUT’s new million state-of-the-art recording studio.
  • Dead Puppets Society – workshops where the public will learn the techniques these QUT alumni puppetry wizards us to bring their magical creations to life.
  • Mudskipping – a short 3D film involving dance and music - both a social commentary on humanity’s intimate relationship with a vital habitat under threat and a tongue-in-cheek modern take on an old 3D classic, the Creature from the Black Lagoon.
  • Shifting Lenses – a live, interactive dance duet between a human and a computer.
  • CreateX finale – a spectacular 45-minute concert featuring singers Kate Miller-Heidke, Naomi Price and Carita Farrer Spencer and inspirational dancer with multiple sclerosis Michelle Ryan.

CreateX runs 10am – 7pm Sunday August 28 at the Creative Industries Precinct, corner of Kelvin Grove Road and Musk Avenue, Kelvin Grove.  The festival is free to the public. 
More information is available at the CreateX website www.createx.qut.edu.au  

Premier Palaszczuk also announced today a new partnership with QUT for a $1.5 million upgrade to the La Boite Roundhouse Theatre at the QUT’s Kelvin Grove campus.

“The Queensland Government will contribute $500,000 over two years in matched funding to upgrade the La Boite Roundhouse Theatre, one of Australia’s longest running operating theatres with a reputation for innovation and fostering new Australian work,” she said.

“This funding is part of my government’s $46 million commitment to upgrading Queensland’s cultural infrastructure.

“We recognise the importance of cultural and creative industries in promoting economic diversity and growth, job creation and increasing Queensland’s global competitiveness in a 21st century economy,” the Premier said.

QUT will contribute a third of the funding, with the remaining third to be raised from philanthropic sources.

Professor Coaldrake warmly acknowledged the State Government’s support, saying that it underlines the continuing importance the Queensland government places on creative industries in the emerging knowledge economy.

He said La Boite Theatre, located at QUT’s Kelvin Grove campus, would continue to operate as an independent arts company.

“La Boite is an important feature of the QUT Kelvin Grove campus Creative Industries ecosystem. Its very presence is an inspiration to our acting, drama and technical production students,” he said.

Media contact:
Kate Haggman, QUT Media, 07 3138 0358 or kate.haggman@qut.edu.au
After hours Rose Trapnell 0407 585 901 or media@qut.edu.au

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