Criena Gehrke Chief Executive Officer, HOTA, Home of the Arts
Criena Gehrke is Chief Executive Officer of HOTA, Home of the Arts.
She has a diverse and eclectic background in arts management and a particular passion for the role of arts and culture in building strong and connected communities. She’s worked with all tiers of government on the development and implementation of cultural policy.
Under her leadership as the Executive Director of Arts Access Victoria, one of Australia’s leading cultural development organisations, she developed a range of key initiatives to increase access for disadvantaged communities. She has been a peer assessor for Creative Victoria and The Australia Council for the Arts and is a member of the Griffith Centre for Social and Cultural Research Advisory Group. Criena is also a past recipient of the prestigious Harvard Business Club Victoria Non-Profit Fellowship.
Before taking up the reins at HOTA, Home of the Arts she was Executive Coordinator of City of Gold Coast’s Arts and Culture Unit where she led the development of the City’s 2023 Culture Strategy.
As CEO of HOTA, Home of the Arts, a vibrant arts precinct on the Gold Coast, Criena is leading the charge to embed arts and culture at the centre of the city, creating a legacy for future generations.
Criena oversaw the recent development of the precinct including the addition of a $37.5m Outdoor Stage, a $19.5m pedestrian bridge connecting HOTA to Surfers Paradise, and the most recent addition (opened May 2021), a $60.5m brand new, AAA rated, international standard HOTA Gallery.
Under Criena’s leadership, HOTA, Home of the Arts will now welcome more than 1m people every year and is becoming known as a must visit cultural destination.