The City's first ever Cultural Policy - Creative Sydney - is nearly complete after Council approved a final stage of community consultation at Monday night's meeting.
The policy includes 120 ideas as part of a 10-year action plan for unlocking Sydney's creative potential and boosting the cultural life of our residents, workers and visitors.
Some of the ideas include calling on businesses, retailers and property developers to make more than 1.6 million square metres of empty commercial and residential space across the city available to artists for creative activities, a trial of matinee and early-evening childcare so that parents can take part in cultural activities, offering extended parking for audiences near cultural venues, making low-cost theatre tickets available to high school students and creating opportunities for artists to decorate neighbourhood walls, construction hoardings and other public infrastructure.
You now have one month to tell us what you think of the policy. Many people who help shape Sydney's cultural life gave our Creative City their strong endorsement at the briefing I hosted at Town Hall this week.
Creative City is a blueprint for our work to ensure culture, creativity and the arts can play a central part in the life of our city. The policy has eight foundation principles which guide six priority areas for action.
The foundation principles recognise the role culture plays in shaping our community's sense of identity, the need to ensure everyone can access and contribute to our cultural life, and the importance of initiative, experimentation and enterprise. The principles also recognise that Aboriginal culture, globally acknowledged as the world's oldest continuous living culture, is our city's most unique and enduring asset.
The priority areas include a focus on our villages and local communities, reinforcing their distinct identities and help them celebrate their creativity. Other priorities are opening up new avenues for creative participation, improving access to culture and creating new audiences, sharing knowledge and engaging with the world.
Creative Sydney has a strong emphasis on removing barriers to creativity by cutting red tape and making it easier for our creative people to work, particularly creative people with few resources. This aspect of the policy has already received strong support.
Creative City is on public exhibition until Tuesday 10 June. A copy of the draft policy and information about how to comment on it is available from http://sydneyyoursay.com.au/creativecity