$450k boost for Lake Macquarie’s arts.

Lake Macquarie City Council will receive $450,000 over three years from Create NSW that will go towards its artistic and cultural program.

The unique collaborative program will see Council come together with artists, authors, producers and creative organisations to celebrate the City’s cultural scene through events, exhibitions, and new art works and performances.

Activities in the program range from a new live music and drawing program for the revitalised Rathmines Theatre and the new Multi Arts Place (MAP) in Speers Point, a new multi arts festival named after William Dobell, Outdoor Sculpture Prize, commissioning of a series of Aboriginal interpretive art works for the Fernleigh Awabakal Shared Track, and extending the city’s urban and public art program.

Council’s Manager Arts, Culture and Tourism Jacqui Hemsley was elated with the announcement and is excited to kick off the programs and activities.

Over the next three years we will support creative content and artists through exhibitions and activities at MAC, our theatres and multi arts spaces, creative industry development, events and festivals and expand some of our existing programs, and invest in new work and exhibitions for our City,” Ms Hemsley said.

We are building a mix of quality creative facilities and spaces where we can host our events and exhibitions and I am excited about what we can do with Windale Hub, Wangi Wangi Creative Hub, the new Multi Art Space and our refurbished theatres when they are completed.

The real strength of this program and what is at the core of its development, is the diversity on offer. We will introduce our new Dobell Festival, which will also combine with the exhibition of the Archibald Prize in 2021, we’ll also see a project that will reinvigorate the puppet program that residents might remember from past years, and our initiatives will span across creative writing, music and theatre, technology and urban art. We’re really keen to share it with our community and visitors to Lake Mac.”

Highlights of Council’s creative program

• Biennial Lake Art Prize: Where there is water (2020 and 2022)
• Rights and Rituals (2021) exhibition at Museum of Art and Culture (MAC)
• Float Your Boat Festival (2021-2023)
• Dobell Festival (2021-2023)
• Multi Arts Place (MAP) Opening
• Major Aboriginal Interpretive Art Commission for Fernleigh Awabakal Shared Track
• $20,000 National Emerging Art Prize Exhibition at Museum of Art and Culture (MAC)
• Archibald Prize Regional Touring Exhibition at Museum of Art and Culture (MAC).

The Create NSW Local Government Authorities (LGA) Arts and Cultural Program will provide more than $6.6 million in total funding to Councils across NSW over the next three years.

Lake Macquarie Mayor Cr Kay Fraser welcomed the grant announcement that will see the City shine and provide much needed support to the local arts and creative community, which has been significantly impacted by COVID-19.

Our community loves to come together and celebrate, and our events and cultural programs are an expression of our incredible lifestyle. We know creative industries have been really hurt locally and right across the country, so I’m thrilled that we will be working with the industry to deliver an amazing program over the next three years,” said Cr Fraser.

It’s an exciting list of major activities that I’m sure our community will value and enjoy. I’m looking forward to getting out and safely experiencing all these exhibitions and events with everyone.”

Proposed Speers Point multi-arts Centre.