National Art School secures 45 year lease at old Darlinghurst Goal site

Carolyn Fletcher AM, (National Art School Chair), Don Harwin (NSW Arts Minister) and Craig Limkin (Create NSW)Marking a new and exciting era for the National Art School (NAS), the NSW Government has signed a 45-year lease agreement for the Old Darlinghurst Gaol site that will allow significant growth and development as it continues to build an art school for the 21st century.

The Minister for the Arts, Don Harwin, also announced The National Art School (NAS) has joined the Museum of Contemporary Art Australia (MCA) and Carriageworks as a State Significant Organisation.

“The National Art School has called the old Darlinghurst Gaol home since 1922 and I’m delighted to confirm a new agreement for this historic property recognising the important role it plays for the promotion of the visual arts in the State,” said Minister Harwin.

“NAS has a stellar history and has produced some of Australia’s greatest artists. With a 45-year lease, its future is secure. Becoming a State Significant Organisation will afford sustainable funding security and allow the School to open up its high-profile activity and programs to a wider audience across NSW and the visiting public.

State Significant Organisations are arts organisations with annual incomes of over $2.5m that make a significant contribution to NSW’s arts and cultural profile, demonstrate strong management and deliver benefits across NSW communities.

“This is a very important milestone in the life of the National Art School,” said Carolyn Fletcher, Chair National Art School Board. “With confidence that we now have secure site tenure and guaranteed long term funding, we will be able to plan and work for an exciting future, to realise the great potential that NAS has to contribute to the artistic and cultural life of Sydney and NSW.

“We are very much looking forward to delivering our expanding program of activities that will engage with even more communities across Sydney and NSW,” she added.

For more information about the National Arts School, visit: for details.

Image: Carolyn Fletcher AM, (National Art School Chair), Don Harwin (NSW Arts Minister) and Craig Limkin (Create NSW)