Local investment in the arts

This Week, the Australian Local Government Association released a statement that said “Local Government contributes more than a quarter of total national expenditure on Australian arts and cultural activities… Demonstrating the increased importance of art and culture to local communities, the 26.2 percent local government proportion was up from 22.4 percent a decade earlier, The Big Picture report said.”

The City of Fremantle will invest $4 million into local arts, culture and events this financial year.

This includes funding for the hugely successful and popular Fremantle Arts Centre, Festivals including the Heritage Festival, 10 Nights in Port, Hidden Treasures and the Fremantle Street Arts Festival, as well as the Moores Gallery and Walyalup Aboriginal Cultural Centre, Fremantle Biennale, and community arts grants (which are now open for applications). We also have an extensive Public Art program and a policy that requires 1% of major development costs to go towards public art.

These initiatives provide employment opportunities for local artists as well as enriching the lives of local people and attracting visitors to our city. It benefits the local economy and community wellbeing.

ALGA stated that “this investment forms the building blocks of cultural experiences and life in local communities.” and referenced that “Australia’s arts and culture sector contributes more than $111 billion to the economy, or 6.4 percent of Gross Domestic Product, and employs around 600,000 people, or 5.5 percent of the workforce.”

I love Fremantle’s rich creative culture and think investment in arts, culture and events greatly benefits our city.