Blueprint to ensure Melbourne remains the arts capital

Double Think by Byron PerryMelbourne City Council has endorsed a new arts strategy which outlines Council’s commitment to the arts over the next three years.

Developed via a comprehensive engagement process with the arts sector and community, the Arts Strategy 2014-17 puts artists at the core of a creative city.

Through polls, online forums and public meetings, over a thousand people shared their vision of what Melbourne’s arts scene should look like by answering questions focused on key elements of a creative city and the role of local government in the arts.

Lord Mayor Robert Doyle said the result of this extensive process is a courageous Arts Strategy.

“The arts make a crucial contribution to the city’s liveability, wellbeing and identity. We needed a strategy to reflect this and take us confidently into the future,” the Lord Mayor said.

“This strategy will sustain the unique qualities that make Melbourne an incubator for creativity. The City of Melbourne plays a significant role in the city’s arts scene and we will continue to do so by providing support, funding, spaces and collaborative opportunities for artists and organisations.”

Councillor Rohan Leppert, Chair of the Arts and Culture portfolio said Melbourne would not be the city it is today without its active creative community.

“The Arts Strategy is not a cultural policy or a broad-brush approach to the arts; it is a strategy focused on our dedication to artists to ensure Melbourne remains Australia’s arts capital.

“We asked the community what they loved about the arts in Melbourne, and for their thoughts on what the city’s role in the arts is. They told us and we listened and the result is a brave Arts Strategy that will underpin our work over the next three years,” Cr Leppert said.

“The Arts Strategy will steer us in the right direction to ensure Melbourne continues to grow in artistic and cultural vibrancy.”

The Arts Strategy 2014–17 outlines council’s commitment to the arts under the themes of Connection, Activation, Spaces, Funding, Recognition and Heritage.

In 2014, the City of Melbourne is spending more than $14 million supporting artists and art events in Melbourne to ensure that the city’s distinctive culture of art-making and community participation thrives into the future.

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Image: Double Think by Byron Perry