News & Media Releases

Making Room for Creativity

04 February 2014

Yarra Council has established a fund to help local artists and arts organisations meet the rising costs of pursuing creative practices in the inner-city.

The Room to Create Fund is an account set up with the Lord Mayor’s Charitable Foundation that will generate grants annually through accrued interest.

Launching the Room to Create Fund at Richmond’s Bakehouse Studios this morning, Yarra Mayor, Cr Jackie Fristacky said Council and the Lord Mayor’s Charitable Foundation had kicked in $200,000 to get the fund rolling.

However, she acknowledged that the program’s long term success would be dependent on the tax-deductible generosity of donors.

“Simply put, the more people donate, the more we’ll be able to help people create,” Cr Fristacky said.

“A high percentage of people who live in Yarra identify themselves as creative practitioners but it is getting harder and harder for those people to find affordable spaces locally.

“We know people like living here because they are part of an inclusive and creative community that embraces iconic live music venues, over 60 galleries and artist run spaces, dozens of formal and informal rehearsal spaces, peak arts organisations, radio stations, film productions houses, recording studios and more.

“Many members of that community started in Yarra when it was cheaper to do so.

“That is not the case anymore, so Council has a responsibility to local artists and arts organisations and also to the wider community that appreciates Yarra’s distinctly creative community, to ensure young and emerging artists have the option of working locally. 

“We know that even small investments in the arts produce a high return to the community and that arts are fundamental for a healthy local economy.”

Cr Fristacky said the Room to Create Fund offered a sustainable funding model that was unique in its focus on providing incentives to help pay for infrastructure.

“By growing the fund through philanthropy, we can tap into a perpetual pool of money that will help pay for basic but essential things like studio fit-outs, rent, sound-proofing in music venues, technical production and upgrades.

“The Room to Create Program’s success can only be measured in time.

“Today we granted Schoolhouse Studios $10,000 to help them fit-out the Collingwood space they relocated to last year after having to leave their former home in Abbotsford.

“My hope is that in 2024, Schoolhouse Studios will still be around supporting local artists and providing great spaces for them to practice, and we’ll be granting funding to a new collective of aspiring artists keen to emulate Schoolhouse’s success.”

To find out more about Yarra City Council’s Room to Create Program, click here.

 Click here to make a tax-deductible donation or make a donation without a tax-deductible receipt.

For more information, please contact Siu Chan, Coordinator Arts, Culture and Venues, on 9205 5045 or at



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