(7.10pm, Thursday 27 February 2014, Carnegie Hall, 262 Liverpool St, Darlinghurst)
Thank you, Scrap, [Wall, artistic director]. Hello, everyone.
What a great space to be in to launch Art Month for 2014.
And what a fabulous program you're presenting this year. There are pop-up exhibitions; a cycle safari; a night tour of the burgeoning art scene of Chippendale and Redfern; talks at CarriageWorks; Hetti Perkins on Aboriginal public art - something close to our hearts as we work on our Eora Journey through the City; artists presenting films that have influenced or inspired them; and galleries across the city offering exhibitions to entice new patrons as well as the regulars.
It gives some idea of the depth and variety of arts talent in this City, and of the verve and enthusiasm of our curators, gallerists and collectors.
The City is happy to be a major sponsor of this fifth Art Month. Sydney has a unique cultural life and we're doing our utmost to help promote it and to make people - locals as well as tourists - aware of the sheer variety and tremendous vitality of our artists' work.
We're putting a lot of energy into our public art program for Sydney, and we're lucky to be able to draw on the expertise of our wonderful Public Art Advisory Panel.
We want public art that celebrates the talents of our gifted creative community and reflects the unique ethos of Sydney.
Last year, we launched our Foley Street Public Art Project as part of the Art Month East Sydney Precinct Night and I think Sydney is at its best when we work together - business, government and the private sector - building the creative and sustainable economy that will keep us as one of the world's greatest and most liveable cities.
We look forward to welcoming everyone into spaces across the City this March to discover the many facets of Sydney creativity and to celebrate our artists and galleries.
I'm delighted to formally launch Art Month for 2014.