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Arts & Culture

A city without a flourishing artistic and cultural life would be a poor place indeed. Our artists celebrate and enrich our city, and contribute to our sense of identity and sense of place.

The City sponsors and produces a wide range of art and culture to enliven the city, celebrate our diverse communities, and promote Sydney's artistic and cultural life to Australia and the world. In 2006/07, Council commited approximately $2.7 million to cultural activities within the City.

Major projects, sponsorships and programs include:

  Festival of Sydney, Australia's largest and most well attended annual cultural event, spanning three weeks and more than 50 events each January.

  Art and About, three weeks in October when our streets, parks, churches, corporate foyers and shopping plazas come alive with the works of Australian established and emerging artists.

  Sydney Writers' Festival, a week-long annual celebration of featuring published writers across genre and form from across Australia and around the world.

  Sydney Film Festival, an internationally recognised event that enlivens our City each winter.

  Local Community Grants Program, supporting cultural and community projects, events and activities within the City local government area.

  Biennale of Sydney, Australia's largest international festival of contemporary art, held in June/July every two years.

  Biennial Indigenous Arts Fellowship, awarded to an indigenous artist to develop his or her career.

The City of Sydney is one of Australia's best producers of large public free events, ranging from the annual New Year's Eve celebrations and Chinese New Year to one day community festivals, such as Primo Italiano and the Danks Street Festival, to twilight Christmas concerts in our villages. In producing these events, we explore and celebrate the unique cultural identity of our villages.

I am also committed to making the arts accessible. One of our first Council resolutions was to ask the Festival of Sydney to make paid events accessible to people on low incomes. The Festival acted on this request and also included in its 2006 program "Stickybricks", a wonderful theatrical experience in which the tenants of the Northcott housing estate in Surry Hills told their stories.

The City of Sydney is developing a Cultural Plan which will direct cultural policy and projects during the next five years, we are completing a public art policy, and will bring together key leaders of arts and cultural institutions within the City to build on their expertise and vision.

Join the colour and spectacle of the Chinese New Year parade.

Recent related information:

Picturesque Launch: Palm House Botanic Gardens—Hello, everyone. Id like firstly to acknowledge the Gadigal people of the Eora nation, the traditional custodians of this land... (12/03/2011)

Supporting Cultural Vitality: At Sydney Town Hall this week, Sydney Theatre Company Artistic Directors Cate Blanchett and Andrew Upton pointed to Sydney's world-class venues and performers... (11/03/2011)

City Talk: Greening Sydney's Cultural Ribbon: Sydney Town Hall—Thank you, and good evening, everyone. I would like to acknowledge the Gadigal people of the Eora nation, the traditional custodians of this land... (8/03/2011)

Final Call for Fraser Studios: FraserStudios has issued a final call for artists wanting to make creative use of studios established in three warehouses in Kensington Street, Chippendale... (4/03/2011)

First City Talks For 2011 with Cate Blanchett and Andrew Upton: The Co-Artistic Directors of Sydney Theatre Company, Cate Blanchett and Andrew Upton, will share their ideas on fostering a green and vibrant cultural... (25/02/2011)

Second Annual Art Month: Sydney's second annual Art Month will run throughout March offering exhibitions, free artist talks, studio tours, late night openings and art bars. More... (25/02/2011)

Australian Business Arts Foundation (ABAF) Partner Thankyou Lunch: Town Hall—Hello, everyone. Welcome to Town Hall. I would like firstly to acknowledge the Gadigal people of the Eora nation, the traditional custodians of this land... (22/02/2011)

Harbour City Bears Art Space: Monstrosity Gallery, Woolloomooloo—Thank you, Cory Thomas, MC and hello, everyone. I would like firstly to acknowledge the Gadigal people of the Eora nation... (21/02/2011)

Chinese New Year Festival Concludes This Weekend: The City's 15th Chinese New Year Festival concludes this weekend with spectacular Dragon Boat Races on Cockle Bay, Darling Harbour. Twelve metre long boats... (11/02/2011)

Sydney Hubei Business Forum: Heritage Ballroom, Westin Hotel—Thank you, and good morning, everyone. Welcome to Sydney! I would like to acknowledge the Gadigal people of the Eora nation... (7/02/2011)