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Regional Arts Development Central West NSW

NSW: Update for the Arts and Culture Sector

From Minister Graham with an update on what the 2024-25 NSW Budget means for the arts, culture, and creative industries.

Update 19 June 2024

Dear NSW Arts and Culture Sector Stakeholder, We are lucky to live in NSW, a state rich in creativity. Last December we released Creative Communities, the State’s first arts, culture and creative industries policy. This commits the NSW Government to advocating for the value of culture, to enabling and investing in culture with the whole of government.

As you might have seen in the 2024-25 NSW Budget, the Government has reaffirmed our commitment to the sector by providing the certainty needed for the thousands of creative workers in NSW, who bring our diverse stories and artistic innovations to life.

Commitments in the NSW State Budget 2024-25
Across the arts, night-time economy, and tourism sectors we have allocated $1.66 billion to support free museum entry, events and festivals, and a wide a range of arts and cultural institutions. During a cost-of-living crisis where many people are doing it tough, this investment will help to support creative and vibrant communities as we build more affordable homes across the State.

I am pleased to draw your attention to key arts and culture commitments:

  • $73 million for Create NSW’s Arts and Cultural Funding Program (ACFP) for 2024-25. This and the recent reforms to the application and acquittal process will make a simpler, faster, and fairer program. Reforming the ACFP was an important commitment in the Creative Communities policy released last December. As part of this we have introduced four year and a new eight year (4+4 year) competitive multi-year program enabling organisations greater stability through a longer-term investment model.
    We are also retaining the artform boards, but introducing two new categories:
    – Digital Experimental, Light Art and Immersive, and Community Arts and Cultural Development. Digital & Experimental combines or involves two or more artforms using experimental approaches and encompasses new artform development. Immersive artforms are those that envelop the participant in a total experience, Including the growing practice of light art.– Community Arts and – — Cultural Development involves artists working collaboratively with communities.
  • NSW’s key Cultural Institutions continue to be valued and supported with $585.6 million to ensure their sustainable futures, as crucial parts of the State’s cultural infrastructure and sites of excellence.
  • We have committed $324.5 million to deliver the events calendar across metro and regional NSW and drive Destination NSW’s refreshed Visitor Economy Strategy 2030. This strategy will prioritise the development of a ‘Foundation events’ category, recognising and supporting the role that key cultural events play in the events calendar of the state

Beyond the budget, we have recently announced two other key initiatives to deliver commitments outlined in Creative Communities.

A new model for creative spaces – Creative Land Trust
I am keenly aware of the need for creative spaces. Like other major world cities and regional areas, NSW is finding that creative spaces are getting squeezed out of unaffordable spaces and creativity is being lost. We cannot deal with the scale of the crisis without new tools and a new approach. Making a start on this, NSW Government is joining forces with City of Sydney on examining the feasibility of establishing a Creative Land Trust, an independent, not-for-profit trust that will be responsible for securing creative production spaces, rehearsal and studio spaces. The intention is for both the NSW Government and the City of Sydney to contribute a suitable property to the Creative Land Trust once the feasibility stage concludes. This model of collaboration and partnership is an important step forward. We all – government agencies, councils, private landholders – need to come together to preserve and protect our creative communities and activate spaces.

Establishment of an Inquiry into Arts and Music Education
Finally, the NSW Parliament has established a joint select committee for an Inquiry into Arts and Music Education and training in NSW. This will be led by Parliamentary Secretary for the Arts, Julia Finn. The Parliamentary Inquiry is a key commitment under the Creative Communities policy, following the extensive feedback from the sector during the consultation period that more needs to be done for arts and music education.
We heard you loud and clear, and we are taking action, and will focus on opportunities and barriers from primary school right through to university and non-formal training. The Committee will inquire into the quality and effectiveness of arts and creative industries education, which will contribute to the Government’s long-term goals of growing the creative industries in NSW and in ensuring viable and fruitful career pathways for our arts workers. Western Sydney and Regional communities will be a key focus. The Inquiry and its submissions will help us ensure the next generation of artists, makers and workers in the arts, culture and creative industries are better supported through education, skills and training opportunities.

A strategic vision for the future of creativity in NSW
We are focused on implementing more commitments in Creative Communities, we are currently preparing to release the 3-year strategy for screen and digital games in NSW, a 10-year contemporary music strategy and a Visitor Economy Strategy 2030. As always, I appreciate the strong engagement Create NSW and my team has received from you all as we prioritise building a strong and sustainable future for arts, culture and the creative industries in NSW.


Create NSW funding information session
Central WestRegister Friday 5 July11am-12pm

Bathurst Memorial Entertainment Centre

105 William Street, Bathurst