The Art House opened its doors in Wyong in 2016, and in only six short years, has positioned itself as a venue of national significance, recently winning Performing Arts Centre of the Year at the 2022 PAC Australia Impact Awards last week.
The award recognises The Art House as a leading arts organisation and acknowledges its contribution to the community, artists, and region as a destination, through its dedication to presenting renowned live performance locally.
The PAC Australia Impact Awards (previously known as the Drover Awards) have been recognising excellence in performing arts since 2003. The awards celebrate excellence in performing arts, leadership, new thinking, and best practice, with a focus on lasting impact in communities. The Art House won one of eight awards hot off the back of their win as Business of the Year at the Business Wyong Awards in July.
The Art House was thrilled to be a part of Australian Theatre’s “night of nights” held at the Sydney Opera House and to bring the Central Coast into the spotlight to pave the way for arts communities across Australia outside the major cities.
“We are both proud and humbled to receive such a recognition as a young theatre. It’s been wonderful to witness and be a part of the transformation of Wyong and contribute to arts and culture on the Central Coast. It’s only with the wonderful support of our Central Coast community that we can be named Performing Arts Centre of the Year.” said Executive Director, Anne-Marie Heath.
The Art House has had a direct impact on local businesses with restaurants and bars busy on show nights, a significant increase of bookings in hotels and accommodations (by audiences and touring performers/companies), and audiences travelling from Newcastle through to Upper Sydney. The venue has worked hard to build strong relationships with key players within the industry to give local audiences access to the best of the best without the need to travel.
“As a brand-new venue, I’d like to thank every Art House team member for their commitment to delivering the best experience for audiences and leading a celebration of the value of the Arts to the Central Coast.” Anne-Marie remarked upon receiving the award.
To date The Art House has hosted groups from numerous primary and secondary schools, showcased a number of local dance companies, delivered professional workshops to the community, and formed a close relationship with NAISDA (Australia’s elite Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander performing arts training college who are based on the Central Coast). It is now expanding its focus to create and develop original works with artists and creatives of the Central Coast.
Some highlights from the Performing Arts Centre of the Year include;
- Education program engaging schools across the entire peninsula and as far north as Newcastle, giving students the opportunity to attend performances and learn through touring workshops in dance, theatre, acrobatics, crafts, and critical thinking
- Working closely with the community on all levels from workshops to projects like I’ve Been Meaning to Ask You (starring a cast of local kids in partnership with Jopuka Productions) and Opera Australia featuring a local choir from the Central Coast Conservatorium of Music
- Supporting Central Coast artists and creatives through the Stage Door Cabaret Series, Art House Artists program, and other partnerships
- A professional theatre for all the community – those on stage and those in the audience
- Premiere of both In the Heights and The Lyin’ Queen then transferred to Sydney Opera House
- National Tours of HAIR, and RENT with the Sydney Opera House
- Commissioning partner with CIRCA for the production Wolfgang’s Magical Musical Circus (Circa)
- Development, premier and transfer to Adelaide Cabaret Festival of Every Musical Ever
- Part of the 2020 Australia and New Zealand tour of major West-End musical Everybody’s Talking About Jamie (sadly cancelled due to COVID19)
The Art House is proudly supported by Central Coast Council.