$2m for art gallery expansion and new arts hub

5th June 2018

Source: The Lakes Mail | By: David Stewart | Posted: June 5, 2018

THE state government has given Lake Macquarie City Council more than $2 million to fund an expansion of Lake Macquarie City Art Gallery and the creation of a multi arts space at Speers Point Park.

Arts Minister, Don Harwin, joined mayor Kay Fraser and the state member for Lake Macquarie, Greg Piper, at the art gallery for the funding announcement.

The funding has been provided under the NSW Government’s $100 million Regional Cultural Fund (RCF), part of the $1.3 billion Regional Growth Fund, which aims to improve economic outcomes and improve the standard of living and wellbeing of people living in regional NSW.

Cr Fraser welcomed the government’s commitment to both projects, saying they would set new benchmarks for cultural excellence, innovation and creativity.

“The Speers Point Multi Arts Space is a regional first that will push the boundaries of arts and cultural exhibition by providing a flexible platform for cutting-edge multimedia exhibitions, contemporary installations, performance and music,” Cr Fraser said.

“It will be a visually stunning building, designed by final-year University of Newcastle architecture students to a high-quality, contemporary brief incorporating the best principles of environmentally sustainable design.

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

“The Lake Macquarie City Art Gallery expansion will provide space to attract larger exhibitions, while also allowing the gallery to simultaneously host complementary shows and public programs,” Cr Fraser said.

The expansion also includes a new outdoor covered area for art programs, an exhibition space dedicated to contemporary Aboriginal art, extra storage space, air-conditioning and additional photovoltaic cells.

Each project will cost of about $2.1 million. 

The state government has partnered with council to provide $735,789 for the art gallery expansion and $1.35 million for the Speers Point Multi Arts Space.

Mr Harwin congratulated Lake Macquarie on its strong artistic and cultural focus.

“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.”

Mr 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.

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