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Capitalising on Melbourne’s creative credentials 

14 May 2023
  • $4.3 million for local grants and cultural events 
  • $2 million for public art projects 
  • $1.8 million for ArtPlay and SIGNAL 

A $7 million boost for local artists, new spaces and public art will unlock more talent and support creatives to thrive in the City of Melbourne.  

Council’s draft Budget 2023–24 will invest in the growth of Melbourne’s creative sector, enhancing the city’s vibrancy, delivering more jobs and bringing more people together in the nation’s cultural capital.   

Grassroots arts organisations and local creatives will benefit from $4.3 million in grants to support new works and nurture local talent. This also includes $2.8 million to bolster major cultural events, such as the Koorie Heritage Trust, Women in Film Festival and Australian Centre for Contemporary Art.  

In 2023–24, Council will support up to 10,000 artists to deliver an array of exhibitions, performances and workshops to be enjoyed by an audience of more than 900,000. 

More than $1.8 million has been allocated to deliver and boost innovative programs and initiatives at ArtPlay and SIGNAL, spaces that encourage art and creativity in young people.  

Premier event YIRRAMBOI will also receive $1.1 million to continue showcasing First Nations artists and creatives.    

Council will also invest a further $2 million to support a range of public art projects at iconic Melbourne locations to attract more visitors, generate stronger economic activity and shape our city today.   

The funding boost comes as the City of Melbourne, in partnership with the Victorian Government, launches a new creative hub in the CBD – offering affordable and adaptive spaces for up to 100 creatives to collaborate and showcase their work.   

Council will transform more than 1,100m2 of office space at 271 Collins Street into a hub for artists and creatives to practise, collaborate and showcase their works in one of Melbourne’s busiest retail and business precincts.   

Expressions of interest are now open for Collins Street Studios, with offices and studios to be offered to artists at competitive rates.    

Collins Street Studios is supported through the $200 million Melbourne City Revitalisation Fund – a joint partnership between the City of Melbourne and the Victorian Government.   

The draft Budget 2023–24 will be announced on Tuesday 16 May, with public consultation to follow until midnight Thursday 8 June.     

Quotes attributable to Lord Mayor Sally Capp    

“We’re backing Melbourne’s world-renowned creative sector with a $7 million investment.”     

“We’re supporting artists and cementing our reputation as the arts and culture capital of Australia, while creating jobs and boosting the economy.”  

“This investment will help us to attract and retain creative talent, and $2 million for public art installations will deliver more memorable attractions, such as Julian Opie’s mesmerising Birds display outside NGV.”  

“We’re proud to support our city’s creatives and artists with a dedicated new space in the heart of our CBD – allowing them to create, collaborate and showcase their work for everyone to enjoy.”    

Quotes attributable to Creative Melbourne portfolio lead Councillor Jamal Hakim  

“Melbourne’s bold and inspirational creative offerings are a major drawcard for the city – from our iconic street art to our world-class performers, there is something unique at every turn and every budget.” 

“Our draft Budget will continue our support for the creative sector as it roars back to life – supporting hundreds of diverse projects that will draw more people to our city with free and affordable performances that bring the city to life.”   

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