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New Funding for Museum and Arts Venue IN Penrith


Stuart Ayres MP, Member for Penrith and Minister for the Arts Don Harwin today announced that the area is home to two of the first recipients of an innovative $350,000 fund designed to support smaller-scale capital infrastructure across arts and cultural venues.

The grants will go to 14 venues across Newcastle, Wollongong and Metropolitan and Western Sydney.

Penrith Performing & Visual Arts will receive $49,175) to create and install a bespoke art storage hanging system (sliding racks and new shelving units) to provide an industry standard conservation-approved storage facility, as well as a hydraulic lift to enable the safe storage and handling of collection items.

The Museum of Fire will receive $20,000 to allow for an upgrade to the Penrith museum’s existing Breathing Apparatus exhibition.

Matched funding of up to $60,000 is available to improve venues, repair and conserve collections or to purchase new equipment to improve the usability of arts and cultural facilities.

Mr Ayres said, “Both the Museum of Fire and Penrith Performing & Visual Arts are vital parts of the arts community in our area, and this funding will encourage them to go from strength to strength.

“Arts funding is not only important for the continued cultural vibrancy in Penrith, but also has economic spin-offs, creating employment and a place where people want to live.”

Mr Harwin said, “From new kilns in Newcastle and the Hawkesbury, the creation of purpose-built performance and storage spaces in St George and Penrith, I am delighted with the variety of needs this fund caters for.

“These changes will boost capacity and public engagement across our creative hubs and bring benefits for employment, regeneration and tourism.”

Mr Ayres said this week also saw the launch of the $1 million fund to support three programs for emerging artists across Western Sydney.

The Making Spaces fund in its second year encourages property owners to partner with arts, screen and cultural organisations to activate spaces and create vibrant and liveable communities.

Under last year’s program, Penrith City Council were successful in securing a grant of $60,000 through the fund to establish the DiG (Digital) Maker Space Program which launched here in Penrith in February this year.

“The DiG is a creative and professional development program for emerging Western Sydney digital artists/designers, is not age related and enables Creatives to develop a pathway into the creative industries,” said Minister Ayres.

DiG Penrith is now 6 weeks into its 16 week mentorship and development program with the first selective creative team including: Ms Me-Lee Hay – Screen Composer, Mr Petar Jovanov – Creative Arts Composition/Composer, Mr Peter Long – Soundscape Composer/Designer, Mr Neil Hawkins – Graphic Designer/Photographer and Mr Adam McPhilbin – Cinematographer.

The second DiG program is due to commence in September 2018 with expressions of interest to launch in May 2018.

The Strategic Opportunities Fund targets strategic projects outside of existing arts programs, to allow organisations to embed arts in the everyday and increase participation.

The new Emerging Organisations Program supports emerging Western Sydney arts, screen and culture groups in developing sustainable business models and setting them up for long term success.

“The NSW Government is making significant investments in the cultural infrastructure and artistic programs which bring the community together and showcase the talents of new and emerging artists,” Mr Ayres said.  

Applications are now open. For further information, full eligibility guidelines and criteria visit:


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Stuart Ayres - Member for Penrith

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