“The meaning of the name Bulmba-ja is highly appropriate for the site’s new focus as a place for the development and presentation of new work, particularly contemporary First Nations work.
This multi-million dollar revitalisation of the Bulmba-ja Arts Centre is the latest investment from the Palaszczuk Government into arts and cultural initiatives for Cairns and far north Queensland region.”
—Leeanne Enoch, Queensland Arts Minister
The art centre’s revitalisation is part of a vision to support Far North Queensland arts and culture. It involved an extensive community consultation process with stakeholders including Indigenous artists, organisations and Traditional Owners, musicians, ‘next-gen’ creative talent, arts industry and community leaders, politicians, and local council each contributing and helping shape the final project.
With a focus on showcasing the unique stories of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders, the Centre was designed to achieve a welcome, engaging building for all.
The refurbished building comprises a new foyer, theatre, gallery, and flexible office spaces. A creative development area with new studios and upgraded theatre equipment plays a pivotal role in the thriving Cairns arts scene. It also incorporates a unique integrated LED facade which displays digital artworks. A Yarning Circle and Elder’s lounge offers the opportunity for Indigenous artists to network and share Aboriginal culture and beliefs with locals and the wider community.
The Bulmba-ja Arts Centre will be an ongoing home to the JUTE Theatre Company and NorthSite Contemporary Arts (formerly KickArts), along with new tenants Miriki Performing Arts and The Pryce Centre for Culture and Arts.