When Brad Rush took up the position as RPAC's new creative arts manager, he found his new spiritual home atop the piano stool in the centre's foyer.
This is the man who played Peter Allen in Savoyard's production of Boy from Oz in 2009, acclaimed for his talent on voice and piano in an iconic and demanding role.
"I said this at my interview. I am a person who lives and breathes this (arts) world. This isn't just a place to come to work. I talk to my mates about theatre. I go to photo shoots and I help people find their places on stage. This is what I do every day. This is what I think about and dream about and live my life for," he said.
Rush, 48, hopes to do this and more in his vision for the centre.
Strong on his priority list is to boost the use of the facilities and create an arts focussed community hub.
"I want this to be a place where local artists can develop and be nurtured. I want this to be the place they remember as the stage that launched their careers," he said.
Rush said he would like to see programs expanded in the events hall and outside area and was keen to create new connections with key arts players in the community. He said he was very impressed with the RPAC connection with the Quandamooka people.
Rush has a formidable platform of performances and continues to work with Marina Prior and Sylvie Paladino and coach children. He is on the board of the Empire Theatre in Toowoomba.
His arts management focus began as national tour coordinator for the Queensland Arts Council, working at Forte music schools, almost 10 years as a programming director with HOTA at the Gold Coast and more recently working with the Adelaide Fringe Festival and at the Geelong Arts Centre.
"We went on a professional and personal pilgramage to look at the arts world through a wider lens both personally and professionally. Working for the Adelaide Fringe Festival was like a perfomance arts version of running away to the circus," he said.
"But then we wanted to come home. We got homesick for Queensland. I am excited about the potential for RPAC. It has a strong foundation and I like the feel of the area and its closeness to ecology and the environment."
"The size of this community works. There is a high artistic agenda. I want to make a stamp here and create a legacy," he said.
Rush said he believed COVID had enforced change in the arts world that had already begun.
"It's brought on a deeper connection. This isn't just a place to see a show. This will be a place where community projects are built and people can drop in. This is a place for participants, not onlookers," he said.