Arts and culture is integral to Yarra

Thank you for sharing your feedback and ideas to help us develop our vision for the arts in Yarra, the Arts and Culture Strategy 2022 to 2026 [PDF 938 KB].

Priorities in the strategy

The new strategy has five key priorities:

  • Our Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander arts and cultures are at the heart of Yarra
  • Artists are essential to a thriving Yarra
  • Our arts and culture shape Yarra’s places and spaces
  • We celebrate and support our creative and diverse community
  • Our arts contribute to an ecologically sustainable future

As we continue to grow and shape some or our regular programs, such as our grants opportunities and Room to Create, there will also be many new initiatives for creatives and the broader community to engage in and benefit from. This will include a greater presence of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander voice and culture, and supporting the creative community in pursuit of more environmentally sustainable practices

How did we develop the strategy?

In 2019 we went out to the community to find out what you already love about the arts in Yarra, what you would like to see more of, and what we can do to support creativity in our city.

We heard from more than 350 community members through our online survey as well as a series of in-person events. This included more than 100 children and young people, as well as members of Yarra's arts community and people who enjoy the arts in Yarra. We also engaged Yarra's trader community, our arts and culture advisory group, and our Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander advisory group.

Our consultation found that people love:

  • the diversity, accessibility and vibrancy of Yarra's arts and culture.
  • the contribution the arts make to our sense of identity in Yarra.

In contrast, the challenges we face in Yarra are:

  • the lack of affordable spaces and the associated financial vulnerability of our artists
  • the need for more public events, studio spaces and artist-in-residence opportunities.

From this research and discovery process we developed the priorities for the draft Arts and Culture Strategy 2022-2026.

After a delay due to COVID-19 restrictions, we ran workshops in person and online with communities and special interest groups. These sessions, with approximately 100 people, gave rise to the initiatives and actions that achieve our priorities.

We then shared a draft of the strategy in November 2021 for further feedback before finalising the document. The final strategy and consultation report was considered at a Council Meeting on Tuesday 7 December 2021, where the strategy was adopted.