Media Releases 2012

Council backs plan to provide affordable arts spaces

19 July 2012

Woman in art galleryA charitable fund is to be established to help meet the costs of providing creative spaces for artists in Yarra.

The idea was backed by Council at its 17 July meeting as a way to maintain creative spaces in the face of rising rents and property values.

Yarra Mayor Cr Geoff Barbour said Council needed to start thinking creatively about how it could support the local arts community.

"Over the past 30 years or so, Yarra's cultural identity has been synonymous with creativity," Cr Barbour said.

"There are still significant numbers of creative people who want to live and work in Yarra but high property prices and redevelopment of warehouse spaces is slowly pushing them out to other areas.

"This is an exciting way our community can contribute to keeping the arts scene healthy and lively in Yarra.

"Our residents don't want to see Yarra dulled down because artists can no longer afford to base themselves here.

"If we lose our arts community, we lose our identity and the sense of what makes Yarra such a great place to live and work."

Cr Barbour said the fund might do things like provide grants to arts organisations and individual artists to assist with the costs of purchasing, renting or upgrading artistic space.

While Council has decided to establish a fund under the Lord Mayor's Charitable Foundation, further research is to be carried out on how monies can be raised to contribute to the fund.

Council has called for Council officers to prepare a report on funding sources including Council making a contribution through its capital works program, asking developers to contribute towards public art and seeking private donations.

Under the Lord Mayor's Charitable Foundation, if $100,000 is raised within the first two years of the fund's establishment, this will be matched dollar for dollar by the Lord Mayor's Foundation.

Further information
Jenny Ruffy
Manager of Cultural and Library Services
9205 5389

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