Piper secures $2m for gallery and new art hub

30th May 2018

Source: Newcastle Herald | By: Nick Bielby | Posted: May 30, 2018

The state government has chipped in $2 million to boost the arts in Lake Macquarie, announcing funding for a new multi-arts hub at Speers Point Park and an extension for Lake Macquarie Art Gallery.

Final year architecture students from the University of Newcastle will design the Speers Point facility, which will be used for digital art, performances, screenings, concerts, installations and workshops. It’s expected to become the focal point for the popular outdoor events held at the park.

The art gallery extension will include a dedicated space for Aboriginal arts, an outdoor programming area and extended storage and exhibition space.

Arts Minister Don Harwin announced $1.3 million for the Speers Point hub and $735,789 for the art gallery extension on Wednesday.

Lake Macquarie City Council is contributing $1.2 million to the gallery extension and a bit over $750,000 to the Speers Point complex.

“This is a council that’s got its act together – this is a council that’s been investing consistently in the arts,” Mr Harwin said.

“This is already a great gallery, but there are exciting times ahead for it and it needs the expanded capacity to capitalise on all of those.”

State Lake Macquarie MP Greg Piper, who advocated for the funding, said the projects would bring joy to the community.

“This is a fantastic boost to arts and culture, not just for Lake Macquarie but the entire Hunter Region, and reflects a real local vision to establish a strong cultural identity,” he said.

Final year architecture students at the University of Newcastle will work up designs for the Speers Point Park multi-arts hub, in line with council’s brief, and the best will be chosen for construction.

Mayor Kay Fraser said the facility would “push the boundaries of cultural arts and exhibition”.

“It will be a visually stunning building,” she said.

“It will become a landmark for the city, activating Speers Point Park and creating a regional destination for artistic excellence and innovation.”

The state government grants came from the $100 million Regional Cultural Fund, which is contributing to 68 projects across NSW.

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