Arts & culture

A flourishing cultural life enriches our city and contributes to our community and sense of identity. I work to promote our diverse multicultural and Indigenous traditions, to encourage emerging and established artists, and to increase access to the arts and culture through free and low cost events.

Sydney’s leading cultural institutions are recognised worldwide, but depend on fertile “seedbeds” of culture in our local communities. I am committed to ensuring inner Sydney has affordable places where new artists, authors, musicians and performers can experiment and establish their careers.

The growth in small boutique bars is providing new opportunities for live music, and an alternative to poker machine dominated beer-barns. My small bars legislation and the massive “raise the bar” community campaign forced this liquor licensing reform on the State Government.

Council’s $8 million grants and sponsorship program supports arts and cultural projects, with artists and performers recently benefiting from new studio, rehearsal and exhibition space provided free by the City of Sydney and managed by community groups.

Local organisations such as Gallery 4A, PACT Youth Theatre and Tom Bass Sculpture Studio School have received accommodation grants, and the restored Burton Street Tabernacle will be a cultural venue managed by the Darlinghurst Theatre Company.

In our streets and parks, I am working to expand public art opportunities through initiatives such as the innovative laneway art program (complementing our small bars renaissance), outdoor exhibition space at Taylor Square and new public art commissions.

The City of Sydney proudly sponsors and produces a wide range of culture events, including:

  • Festival of Sydney, including First Night, Australia’s largest annual cultural event (Jan).
  • Chinese New Year, the largest Luna New Year festival outside Asia (Feb).
  • Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras, proudly sponsored to promote GLBTQ equality (Mar).
  • Sydney Writers’ Festival, celebrating published writers from Australia and the world (May).
  • Sydney Film Festival, an internationally recognised event enlivening our City in winter (Jun).
  • Biennale of Sydney, Australia’s largest international festival of contemporary art (mid-year).
  • Art and About, bringing our streets alive with the work of new and established artists (Oct).
  • Christmas celebrations, including twilight concerts in our villages, (Nov-Dec).
  • New Year’s Eve, the world’s most recognised and spectacular new year celebration (Dec)

Sustainable Sydney 2030 identified the importance of a cultural and creative city, with priority projects being developed and implemented.

  • Eora Journey will work with our Aboriginal communities on an innovative approach to celebrating indigenous culture and telling the story of Indigenous life in Sydney.
  • Cultural Ribbon will work with our leading cultural institutions to reinforce the “cultural trail” linking iconic and significant landmarks along the foreshore.

Click HERE for my petitions on arts & culture.

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Two weeks after getting it wrong, the Daily Tele 'clarifies' their errors. But today's effort gets it wrong too. Despite claims in this 'clarification', the Tele always knew @cityofsydney was not involved in this project because we and CoDesign Studio told them so from the beginning. They won't let the facts get in the way of their agenda.

This is Mary Veronica, the new tunneling machine which will help flood-proof Green Square. Anyone living in or passing through the Green Square area during April's torrential rains would remember chest-high water and flooding. Work has commenced on a new 2.4km underground stormwater drain to reduce the damage of such floods and help make this area a great place for thousands of people to live and work safely. At a cost of more than $90 million, this project is a key component of the City’s $440 million transformation plan for new infrastructure and community facilities.