Media Release
Committee for Sydney calls for a $75m Cultural Renewal Fund
25 May, 2020

Media contact

Matt Levinson

Think tank the Committee for Sydney is calling on NSW Government to introduce a $75m Cultural Renewal Fund for an arts and culture sector decimated by COVID-19.

Physical distancing and limits on gatherings have shut down galleries, museums, theatres, music halls and festivals in NSW. Although limited re-opening for some institutions is scheduled in early June, many have seen income from the box office, commercial opportunities and public events dry up.

The Committee warns that, without a major rescue package, many of these institutions will not recover.

Supporting the arts and culture sector will also be vital to encouraging domestic tourists to NSW, at a time when borders are re-opening. In 2019 there were 12.3 million domestic overnight visitors to Sydney, with many flocking to arts festivals, galleries, museums, theatres, live music and other cultural activities.

And according to the World Tourism Organization, heritage and culture tourists spend over a third more than general leisure tourists.

The Committee is proposing that NSW Government establish a $75m Cultural Recovery Fund of new spending to support small, medium and large institutions – and the people they work with – across our state.

Last week the Victorian Government committed almost $50m to a cultural recovery package. The Committee believes that introducing a similar – but even more ambitious – recovery package for NSW would be an important addition to the broader set of efforts being undertaken already.

Note to editors:

  1. The Committee for Sydney is an independent think tank and champion for the whole of Sydney, providing thought leadership beyond the electoral cycle. The Committee aims to enhance the economic, social, cultural and environmental conditions that make Sydney a competitive, resilient and liveable global city. The Committee has a diverse membership with over 150 member organisations: including the major corporate sectors driving Sydney’s economy; strategically minded local authorities; key NSW Government departments and agencies; not- for-profit organisations; and leading arts and sporting institutions. Members help develop and deliver priorities, provide expertise and ensure a representative geographical spread across the greater Sydney region.