Located in the nation’s capital, we are the custodians of Ainslie and Gorman Arts Centres, heritage-listed arts facilities. Together these arts and cultural hubs form a multi-disciplinary arts precinct that is home to Canberra’s largest collective of artists.
Arts Capital Ltd. mobilises cultural, human and financial resources in the service of a strong and unique arts ecosystem.
Formerly Gorman House Arts Centre Inc. Arts Capital Ltd is a not-for-profit company and registered charity. With a decades-long history of artistic and cultural community engagement and tangible creative impact, our multi-faceted experience empowers us in navigating contemporary creative landscapes.
Working with dedicated partners, we invest in courageous creatives — peoples, projects, programs and productions — that enable bold and transformative encounters to happen.
Led by a board of skilled, independent professionals, Arts Capital has assembled a team with expertise in arts facilities stewardship, cultural programming, creative placemaking, event production, arts marketing, venue management and project administration.
The Ainslie and Gorman Arts Centres are owned by the ACT Government and located in Australia’s capital on Ngunnawal Country.
Learn more about our team here.
2023 – Arts Capital finalises the 2023—2027 Strategic Plan.
2020 – Arts Capital Ltd. is established as a not-for-profit company limited by guarentee and receives its registered charity status.
2019 – Gorman House Arts Centre Inc. (GHAC) transitioned to a company limited by guarantee.
2009 – GHAC takes over management of the Ainslie Arts Centre, a dedicated music hub.
1981 – Gorman House Community Arts Centre Inc. is established to manage Gorman House as a multi-disciplinary arts centre.
1927 – The Ainslie Public School is constructed and “Hostel No. 3” is renamed “Gorman House” after Commissioner Clarence Gorman.
1924 – Construction commences on “Hostel No. 3”.
Gorman Arts Centre
Gorman Arts Centre began as Canberra’s first community arts centre in 1981, in response to considerable growth in the community arts sector and an identified need for Canberra creatives to have a place to call home. Since 1981 Arts Capital has worked to build a thriving multi-disciplinary arts hub which balances heritage architecture and gardens with contemporary and cutting-edge performance and visual arts. With over 40 artist studios, Gorman houses violin makers, craftsmen, visual artists, writers, musicians, cartoonists, dance organisations, theatre companies and more.
Ainslie Arts Centre
In 2009, and with a strong track record for managing an arts centre, Arts Capital expanded to also take on the management of Ainslie Arts Centre, a music hub in Canberra’s inner city. Carrying on the legacy of education in one of Canberra’s first schools, now almost 100 years later, we are proud to see musical development, professional practice and performances continuing to flourish within this heritage-listed venue. But more than just music happens in this venue. With light-filled classrooms, Ainslie Arts Centre is perfect for a range of educational and professional requirements.
The Ainslie Salon music series celebrates musicians based on Ngunnawal Country, or who developed their practice on Ngunnawal Country, and who push the boundaries of their genre. Showcasing emerging artists with established peers of a similar genre generates a coherent audience experience, that supports musicians to grow their profile with new audiences as well as develop their professional networks. Running since 2021, Ainslie Salon has been carefully curated by our Programs team and has established a unique approach to developing and elevating Canberra music.
Heritage Venue Hire
From Canberra’s first arts-focussed co-working space to a 200-person capacity, light-filled Main Hall and everything in between. Arts Capital manages a range of hireable venues, across two arts centres, which suit performances, conferences, arts practices, rehearsals, meetings, training days, weddings and much more! We understand the unique needs of individual artists, emerging arts organisations, creative small business’ as well as larger organisations, and can tailor a single-day event or a long-term lease to suit your requirements. Join this multi-arts hub and be a part of Canberra’s creative history.
Emerging Artist Studio Program
Our Emerging Artist Studio Program is based at Gorman Arts Centre and offers subsidised studio spaces for artists in the first 5-years of their practice. Access to these spaces in a central location allows artists from all over Canberra to explore, experiment and develop creative works and ideas in a supportive and collaborative environment. We strongly encourage applications by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples, people from a culturally and linguistically diverse background, people with lived experience of disability, gender diverse peoples and members of the LGBTQIA+ community.
Sector Development Series
Everyone benefits from professional development, however, some individual artists and organisations, including many of our resident artists, struggle to prioritise facilitated training for staff. For this reason, we are removing the financial barriers to professional and cultural training. Our First Nations Engagement workshop, hosted by Geoff Richardson PSM, was open to our resident artists, resident organisations and peer arts organisations from across Canberra. We will continue to support the Canberra Region creative industry, by hosting open training in LGBTIQ+ Understanding and Awareness, as well as Disability and Inclusion in Action training.
IN THE MEDIA
Board of Directors
Lauren Honcope Chair
Joining her first Board in the 1980’s, Lauren is an experienced not-for-profit Chair and Director. She is a retired legal practitioner and law lecturer, currently volunteering in not-for-profit arts and migration-refugee organisations. She has been a senior executive solicitor at the Australian Government Solicitor and has over 10 years of experience at the Australian National University College of Law.
Sheridan Burnett Secretary
Lawyer turned GLAM (Galleries, Libraries, Archives and Museums) sector professional; Sheridan is passionate about working in the cultural sector. She is currently the Governance and Risk Manager at the National Portrait Gallery, held a similar role at the National Film and Sound Archive, and also a dedicated tutor in digital media/GLAM for University of South Australia Online.
Eric Martin AM
As a practising architect and internationally renowned expert in heritage and disability access, Eric brings vital knowledge to the care of Ainslie and Gorman Arts Centres. He is passionate about ensuring universal access is planned for in building design. Eric is a Life Fellow of the Australian Institute of Architects that has served on our Board since 2002.
Currently the Technical Director at the Canberra Theatre Centre, Jeremy brings to our Board skills in production management, theatre and live sound. He has on-the-ground experience within Ainslie and Gorman Arts Centres, as he was previously the Technical and Production Manager, and has over a decade’s experience in productions at the Sydney Opera House.
Leslie is a chartered accountant with 15 years’ experience in financial audits and management consulting, advising a wide range of clients in the government, not-for-profits and private sectors. Companies he has worked with include KPMG U.S., Deloitte and Department of Defence.
Claudia works at the National Centre for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Wellbeing Research at the Australian National University. She has extensive experience in fundraising and partnerships as well as a strong background in the arts industry having worked at, directed, and produced various music and film festivals including the Sydney Fringe Festival.
Carly Davenport Acker CEO & Director
Sia Ahmad Programs Manager
Andreo Esguerra Marketing and Partnerships Manager
Mauro Aviles Facilities Manager
Lachlan Johnson Governance and Major Projects Manager