Joel McGuinness CEO & Creative Director, Geelong Arts Centre
Joel is an experienced creative entrepreneur, producer and executive administrator who is passionate about performing arts, communities and the vital role of culture in change making. Joel is currently Chief Executive Officer and Creative Director at Geelong Arts Centre, leading the organisation through a $181m capital redevelopment, designing and implementing a ten-year strategic vision for the organisation, and launching Geelong Arts Centre into a new era that celebrates creativity and community as the ‘heart’ of the organisation.Joel believes that cultural institutions must radically reimagine the relationship between the art and the audience for arts centres to remain relevant and connect with new audiences.‘Creative Engine’ is Geelong Art Centre development program, designed to grow the region’s cultural capacity through grants, access to the centre’s facilities and professional development opportunities for artists and makers. Creative Engine is inclusive of a coworking floor that provides a space for young artists and creative businesses to grow and thrive and is an initiative that Joel is very proud of developing.Before moving to Geelong, Joel founded his own business, JAM Creative Arts, which was ‘incredibly rewarding and humbling.’ In 2016 and 2017 JAM worked with over 20 arts organisations across Western Australia and created Bunbury's first ever Fringe Festival, curating and self-presenting the festival, with attendance exceeding 5,000 in its first year with over 50 events across the city. Joel was an elected member of local government for the City of Bunbury, advocating for change across a growing City, fiercely supportive of arts, cultur and diversity as critical to community life.Previous to this, Joel was Executive Director at the Bunbury Regional Entertainment Centre,Deputy Chair of the Australian Performing Arts Centre’s Association (APACA), and Deputy Chair of Circuit West (WA Association of Performing Arts Venues) Joel is dedicated participant in numerous industry panels, committees and boards, including Board Member for the Victorian Association of Performing Arts Centres (VAPAC) and Skilling the Bay, Strategy Subcommittee for the Committee for Geelong, Committee Member for the Geelong UNESCO International City of Design designation and a Geelong ‘Clever and Creative City’ Vision Partner.Joel has a Bachelor of Arts in Theatre from WAAPA (Western Australian Academy of Performing Arts) and a Masters of Fine Arts in Cultural Leadership from NIDA in Sydney.Joel has spent time in London, Europe and the United States working and traveling, including a period in Brisbane, working with companies such as Circa and the Brisbane Festival, and time in the Pilbara in Western Australian where he managed the WalkingtonTheatre and Moonrise Cinema in Karratha; and as the Artistic Director and Executive Producer of the inaugural Red Earth Arts Festival; REAF is still a major arts and cultural event in the region.