Our history

USQ has a well-established reputation in the Arts, and has entertained the local and wider communities for over forty years.

Over the years, the names have changed, faces come and gone, and the range and variety of productions extended and diversified. In the early days of the (then) Darling Downs Institute of Advanced Education, the Faculty’s Department of Performance Arts created ‘PERFORMANCE’.

‘PERFORMANCE’ incorporated The Arts Theatre Co; Studio 9; The Acme Sausage Company Children’s Theatre; The Darling Downs Youth Theatre; The Phoenix Singers and the Toowoomba Symphony Orchestra.

The 1970s and 1980s were heady times in Arts; a time when a fledgling music and theatre program developed into one of the most celebrated and highly regarded training institutions in the nation

In 1987, came another name change; USQ PERFORMANCE CENTRE under which arts continued to grow and evolve, with the Centre presenting brimming seasons of music, theatre and exhibitions showcasing student, community and visiting artists. Who could forget the Toowoomba Concert Orchestra, USQ Sinfonia, USQ Chamber Choir and USQ Big Band; Theatre; Theatre Restaurants; Opera; Children’s Theatre Week; and even the odd Greek classic in the Toowoomba Quarry and in 2003 the arrival of the Shakespeare in the Park Festival held in the picturesque Queens Gardens.


In late 2006, a merge with the long running McGregor school also brought with it a new name; USQ ARTSWORX.  Under the new banner, came new events and a continuation of innovative new ideas. USQ Artsworx introduced the popular Twilight concert series, Film series, the presentation of ‘incubator’ events showcasing student works, and a culture of mixing of professional artists performing alongside the future artists and entertainers of tomorrow.