John Kotzas is the CEO of Queensland Performing Arts Centre (QPAC) in Brisbane. QPAC is one of Australia’s leading centres for live performance and the arts, with over three million visitors attending over 1200 performances annually. John is also on a number of boards including being Vice President of the Executive Council of Live Performance Australia and a member of the Griffith University Conservatorium of Music Advisory Council. He has a Bachelor of Arts and a Diploma of Education and in 2015 was awarded an Honorary Degree of the University by Griffith University in recognition of his contribution to the cultural and artistic life of Queensland. Since joining QPAC as Artistic Director in 2002, John has been instrumental in the growth of QPAC’S brand and international profile.
“I see myself as responsible for the overall health, welfare and artistic program of the organisation, the reason for that is… I think it’s one conversation. I don’t think the arts conversation and the business conversation are separate. I think the business is our arts and the arts is our business, that’s why we amalgamated those roles,” John said.
John was born in Innisfail, North Queensland and grew up in the 1960s as one of two children in a Greek, cane farming family. His “creative bent” was fostered from an early age and he always had a passion for music, cultural performances and the arts. From the age of four, John dreamt of being a producer but before he could finish his senior exams, he left school and went to work in a cheese factory, saving enough money to relocate to Brisbane. He fondly recalls a time when he lived with his grandmother in Brisbane and indulged his love of the theatre by volunteering at the iconic La Boîte Theatre. John ultimately studied teaching at university and worked in the education field for many years but fate had other plans; it wasn’t long before opportunities began to present themselves and John was lured back to his first love — the performing arts.
“One of the things I love about the arts is that when you embrace the arts they give you the opportunity to walk in someone else’s shoes and in doing that you expand your mind and you become a better person and you see the other opportunities to help others.”
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