We have just finalised the City of Sydney’s inaugural draft Cultural Policy and Action Plan for Sydney. The draft policy outlines our priorities and commitment to arts and culture in the city for the next 10 years.
Developing a cultural policy is almost as important as the final document itself. Beginning the process in 2012 we examined the current research and trends in the area and analysed the work we are doing already. This formed a Discussion Paper, which opened our conversation with the community.
From this, we have put together a draft policy that considers the views expressed by more than 2,000 voices – you told us what you think is working well, what needs more attention and ideas on how we can realise the creative potential of our city.
This is your vision for culture in Sydney:
- Creativity is visible and not contained to our cultural venues – it is in our streets, can be big or small and provides a range of experiences
- Innovation is central to our creative community – we welcome experimentation
- We take pride in our Aboriginal history and culture
- Cultural experiences are easily available and a part of everyday city life
- We are proud of our immigrant history and social diversity
- We welcome big ideas including those that use new technologies and introduce wit, surprise and the unexpected into the city
- Opportunities for discovery and learning are everywhere.
Here are some highlights from the action plan. We will:
- Investigate a co-operative housing project for artists
- Support the development of an interest-free loan scheme to encourage the purchase of artworks from local galleries and studios
- Develop the City’s urban planning function and capability to plan for or influence cultural precincts and infrastructure, and ensure the city is planned to protect and enhance its cultural layer
- Engage business and commercial developers to incorporate temporary and long-term creative work space into new developments, for example through the use of voluntary planning agreements
- Investigate the introduction of Wi-Fi in parks and squares
- Develop an international creative fellowship program in one of the City owned live/work spaces
- Ask the NSW Government to classify artists and creatives as ‘key workers’, giving them access to affordable rental housing in the inner city
- Investigate partnership opportunities with Austrade and other agencies to support Sydney’s creative exports through microloans and other mechanisms
- Pilot matinee and early-evening programs in our childcare centres to allow parents to enjoy a show…and much, much more.
We plan to have the first Cultural Policy for Sydney finalised by the end of 2014.
On 19 May, we hosted a Sydney Conversations event on the new draft policy, joined by arts professionals, purveyors and participants. Here are some highlights of the lively discussion: