Revitalising Melbourne’s Arts Precinct

Arts Centre MelbourneAs Arts Centre Melbourne celebrates its 30th Anniversary this week, it has been announced that the next major phase of Melbourne’s arts precinct would be progressed.

At celebratory dinner held on Tuesday evening, the Hon Michael O’Brien, Treasurer stated that the Coalition Government would seek to progress the work of the previously released Melbourne Arts Precinct Blueprint.

“If re-elected, the Coalition Government will commit $1 million to progress The Blueprint, including a business case for capital works options and consultations to gauge opportunities that would support the revitalization,” said Mr O’Brien.

Facilitating the progression of the master plan for Melbourne’s world recognised arts precinct is Arts Centre Melbourne’s concept study. The detailed study was undertaken to apply the Blueprint and use it to realize Arts Centre Melbourne’s vision for its future.

As a direct result of the study funded by philanthropic contributions to Arts Centre Melbourne, a number of key strategic initiatives have been identified to enhance the visibility and the vibrancy of Melbourne’s cultural hub for the enjoyment of all Victorians – for generations to come.

Part of the proposed development and revitalization is the inclusion of a permanent gallery to exhibit Arts Centre Melbourne’s illustrious performing arts collection comprising over 610,0000 items – including costumes, props, literature and memorabilia – documenting Australia’s rich and vibrant performing arts history. The Collection features items from such luminaries as Kylie Minogue, Dame Nellie Melba, Nick Cave, Dame Edna Everage, Geoffrey Rush, and many more.

“The centerpiece of Arts Centre Melbourne’s concept study is the proposal for The Australian Performing Arts Gallery, which will be a major new attraction at the heart of the Centre, said Tom Harley, President of the Arts Centre Trust. “The concept also opens up a fabulous boulevard connecting the arts precinct’s main institutions to the city, St. Kilda Road and South Bank.”

Endorsing the concept for the Gallery is longtime Arts Centre Melbourne supporter, Kylie Minogue. In 2003 Ms Minogue generously donated more than 300 of her spectacular costumes and accessories to Arts Centre Melbourne.

“It gives me great pleasure and comfort to know that my costumes are being properly cared for and preserved by the talented curators of the Performing Arts Collection,” said Ms Minogue. “It would make me even happier to know that they could be housed in a permanent home, in my hometown.”

Treasures from some of our cities finest, including lyrics from Nick Cave, Geoffrey Rush’s papers, Dame Nellie Melba’s beautiful gowns, items from both The Australian Ballet and Bell Shakespeare Company and many more, could be secured and enjoyed by not just Melbournians, but by visitors from around the country and indeed the world. The arts has and continues to shape Melbourne and it really shows who we are, to preserve and celebrate this rich history.

At a special event held on the stage of Hamer Hall on Wednesday 29 October, a Time Capsule containing valuable contributions from some of our favourite artists, Arts Centre Melbourne staff, and other memorabilia was sealed.

Australian actor, Geoffrey Rush was joined by stars of musical theatre, Rhonda Burchmore and Verity Hunt-Ballard, as well as Arts Centre Melbourne’s new Chief Executive, Claire Spencer, and Victorian Minister for the Arts, Heidi Victoria to seal the Time Capsule – which is to be opened in 30 years when Arts Centre Melbourne turns 60!

For more information about Arts Centre Melbourne, visit: for details.

Image: Arts Centre Melbourne at dusk