Experimental arts space, Testing Grounds, will move from Southbank to the Queen Victoria Market precinct where it will become a key feature of the new Market Square pop-up park.
At its new home, Testing Grounds will run a creative hub with local artists, and work with the City of Melbourne and the Queen Victoria Market on installations and events to drive creative opportunities and visitation.
“Testing Grounds is one of Victoria’s most important and innovative arts incubators, providing creatives with the space to test, develop and share their work with the community,” said Testing Grounds Practice Program Director Arie Glorie.
The expanded experimental arts space will be funded for the next two years through the $100 million Melbourne City Recovery Fund – a collaboration between the Victorian Government and the City of Melbourne.
“We know ambitious arts projects like Testing Grounds will entice people back to the city and play an important role in Melbourne’s economic recovery,” said Lord Mayor Sally Capp.
The Market Square pop-up park is part of the first stage of works to transform the Market’s asphalt car park into 1.75 hectares of public space.
An initiative of Creative Victoria and conceived as a temporary activation in 2013, the original Testing Grounds turned a long-vacant, over-grown parcel of land in Southbank into a vibrant creative space.
“Testing Grounds has provided creatives with vital space, support and opportunities to develop their ideas and connect with audiences for the past 8 years,” said Minister for Creative Industries Minister Danny Pearson.
“The space is vital for artists to come together to test, develop and present new ideas and I look forward to seeing our creative community – and our city – reactivate and rebound.”
Since those early days, Testing Grounds has been expanded and upgraded with improved infrastructure that was designed to be adapted for different sites.
Creative Victoria is now providing this infrastructure to the City of Melbourne for Testing Grounds’ next incarnation in the Queen Victoria Market Precinct.
Testing Grounds is expected to reopen as part of the Market Square pop-up park at Queen Victoria Market (QVM) by the end of the year. For more information, visit: www.testing-grounds.com.au for details.
Image: Testing Grounds at Southbank (photo from Testing Grounds website)