Why White Exhibition Launch

107 Projects' Gallery, September 6 2012

Redfern's upgrades are an important part of the work we've done and 107 Redfern Street is a continuing part of the transformation.

We handed over the keys last November, and as some of you know, there were a few free community events held here. But the project had to wait until we could complete work on the façade, and the crew here could finish work on the internal spaces.

Now the 10 studios are in operation, and eventually Tribal Warrior and TAFE Outreach will also be housed here.

Independent theatre groups - including one from Alice Springs - will be using space here, there is the possibility of collaborations with the Metro Land Council and Eora College on some projects, community-based events, art auctions and of course the individual artists - about 13 of them, I believe - who are working here.

The City has provided this space and seed funding to kick-start this creative precinct.

Creativity is a hallmark of all successful cities and it needs to be nurtured from the ground up, with support for people who push the boundaries and enlarge our thinking, who go for the new and risky, not just the tried and true.

When we encourage creativity in the community, we help build stronger and healthier communities, where people feel free to express themselves, to exercise their imaginations and where they know their contribution is valued.

But for the young and emerging artists, cities are expensive places and there is intense competition for the affordable spaces that do exist. That is why we've put special effort in the last few years to free up space in Council-owned properties - in Oxford Street, in Woolloomooloo, and now here in Redfern.

They all operate differently, and each has its own focus. But what they all have in common is an energy and excitement, a willingness to experiment and a commitment to innovation that that spills over into their host communities, building a livelier, more inclusive and more vibrant City.

I'm tremendously proud of Sydney and what is being achieved here. I congratulate everyone involved in 107 Redfern Street, I know it's going to be a huge success, and I'm delighted to officially declare that it's now open!

Thank you.