News · 7 August 2023

Update August 2023

Jo Thomas | Metro Arts

Metro Arts CEO & Artistic Director Jo Thomas announces departure

After eight transformative years at the helm, Jo Thomas has decided to step down from her role, leaving behind a remarkable legacy of artistic excellence, organisational transformation and community engagement. 

During her tenure, Jo has led Metro Arts with passion, dedication, and an unwavering commitment to the arts and independent artists. Under her visionary leadership, the organisation has thrived, achieving numerous milestones enriching the cultural landscape of Brisbane and the nation.  Jo reflects on her time with Metro Arts with profound appreciation:

“It has been my joy, my privilege and my honour to serve as the CEO and Artistic Director of Metro Arts for the past eight years,” Ms Thomas said. 

“This journey has been filled with invaluable experiences and encounters with extraordinary people – artists, the team and the Board. I take immense pride in all that we have accomplished together, from major milestones like the 40-year celebration of Metro Arts to the establishment of the new Metro Arts’ home at West Village, West End and the creation of the Metro Arts Future Fund.”

Metro Arts Board Chair Dr Fiona Hawthorne expressed admiration for Thomas’s unwavering leadership: 

“On behalf of the Board and team I thank Jo for being such a strong advocate for Metro Arts and the arts sector in Queensland. Her work with Metro Arts has been exceptional and encompassed the organisation’s move, strong leadership throughout the pandemic, accepting a Sidney Myer Performing Arts Award and also Queensland Telstra Business Woman of the Year.  Jo leaves behind an enormous legacy and exquisite shoes to fill. “

Under Jo’s visionary leadership, the organisation has thrived, achieving numerous milestones enriching the cultural landscape of Brisbane and the nation.

Jo’s transformative initiatives, such as DeathFest, the Ian Potter multi-state funded Emerging Producer Xchange, the partnership with Brisbane Festival and the Company-in-Residence model have left a lasting impact on the artistic community, fostering the development and delivery of countless new Australian works across performance and exhibition.

As she embarks on a new chapter in Western Australia, Jo has full confidence in the future of Metro Arts and its continued dedication to supporting the artistic community.

Metro Arts will continue under the leadership of General Manager, Genevieve Trace, with the appointment of two new Artistic Associate positions to be announced in 2024.  The organisation is excited to be extending a commitment to diverse artistic leadership of multiarts through these new roles.

Thomas will depart Metro Arts on Friday, 29th September 2023.

For media inquiries and further information, please contact

Sofia Ham | Head of Marketing & Communications – Metro Arts
P: (07) 3002 7100 | E: sofie(at) 

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