A creative future for Sydney

Consultation on the City's Cultural Policy Discussion paper has now closed, and I'd like to thank everyone who took part.

Sydneysiders have shared some of their great ideas to improve the city's creative and cultural life, contributing to our online discussion, attending our forums, joining our City Talk at the State Theatre, or finding other ways to take part.

On Wednesday, I attended two important and inspiring discussions about the City's cultural life.

At a forum at Customs House, people working in the creative and cultural industry met with City staff to give first-hand accounts of what is great about the current situation, and made more exciting suggestions for the future.

Later that night, I joined dozens of people at the City's 101 Workshop on Live Music. By empowering people with the right information and showing the City's support for businesses trying to host more live performance, we are helping musicians gets gigs and giving Sydneysiders more opportunities to hear music.

During two months of consultation, more than 18,000 people visited our consultation website, with several thousand downloading the agenda-setting discussion paper. 372 brilliant ideas and comments were shared on the forum.

Many organisations like Belvoir Theatre, Queen Street Studios and Sydney Fringe organised their own meetings to give people an opportunity to take part.

Some of the ideas and suggestions so far:

  • increasing affordable spaces for artists and performers to create and present their work
  • establishing a 'concierge' service at the council that would help people wanting to undertake creative activities
  • finding innovative ways to help people get to venues not always well served by public transport, such as a 'theatre bus'
  • holding night time food markets inspired by cities like Singapore and Bangkok
  • installing permanent, well-lit table tennis, chess and checkers facilities in parks across the city centre creating alternative to going for a post-work drink
  • encouraging more live music on the city streets by nominating areas where up-and-coming musicians can play pop-up gigs for free.

There has also been strong interest in many ideas in the Creative City Discussion Paper, such as the suggestion the City could use its childcare centre to provide childcare for parents attending cultural events; the Adelaide Theatre Passport Scheme, which encouraged high school students to attend theatre and the suggestion that new residential developments should include music practice rooms.

The feedback and ideas we've been collected will be incorporated into the final Cultural Policy which will come back to Council later this year.

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