$630,000 boost for Newcastle Museum and Art Gallery

17 Sep 2020

Local stories will take centre stage at Newcastle Museum thanks to a multiyear funding allocation from the NSW Government that will allow it to expand its program of self-curated exhibitions.

The museum will receive $135,000 each year for three years under the Create NSW Local Government Authorities (LGA) Arts and Cultural Programs funding, after being recognised by the assessment panel for its excellence in programming and strategy.

Newcastle Art Gallery has also received a welcome boost from the NSW Government after being granted $75,000 a year for three years in recognition of the Gallery’s ambitious programming and development of major exhibitions.

Newcastle Lord Mayor Nuatali Nelmes welcomed the funding from the NSW Government and said it was testament to the quality of exhibitions, collections and programming produced by both the Museum and Art Gallery.

“Newcastle Museum and Newcastle Art Gallery are vibrant, award-winning cultural attractions, which play an important role in interpreting and preserving our city’s fascinating history and providing a time capsule of Australian art dating back to the earliest days of Newcastle,” Cr Nelmes said.

“Their respective collections and exhibitions also add to the rich diversity of experiences that help attract visitors to our city.”

Newcastle Museum Director Julie Baird said the grant will allow them to undertake several new self-curated exhibitions, while also delivering programming under the three yearly themes of Seeing Differently, Neighbours and Fluidity.

“Our vast collection, which includes more than 12,500 objects and stories, allows visitors to gain a sense of Newcastle’s unique identity by exploring the city’s past, present and future, while our exciting annual program of self-curated and touring exhibitions are on the cutting edge of contemporary museum practice,” Ms Baird said.

“The Museum and History Artform Advisory Board, which assessed our funding application, supports projects based on the program’s vision, quality and engagement with the community and I’m proud to say that Newcastle Museum was the only local government museum to receive the full three years of funding.

“This grant will allow Newcastle Museum to undertake some new, free-of-charge self-curated exhibitions such as 1X4, an innovative social history exhibition, designed to tour through regional NSW, that challenges visitors to see things through different perspectives.”

Newcastle Art Gallery Director Lauretta Morton said the funding will allow the Gallery to host an ambitious mix of exhibitions and events engaging local, national and international artists and practitioners.

“The three-year funding commitment recognises the Gallery’s continuing commitment to developing and delivering nationally significant exhibitions, events and programs for our city and community,” Ms Morton said.

“It also reflects our continued commitment to local and indigenous artists, including our landmark exhibition WARWAR: The Art of Torres Strait, which showcases the evolution and strength of Torres Strait Islander tradition and society through arts practitioners from the 19th Century through to today.

“The Visual Arts Advisory Board receives the highest amount of applications across the Arts Minister’s 10 Arts Advisory Boards. As first-time applicants in an extremely competitive field, the Gallery has not only been successful in securing multiyear funding, but also achieved an increase in annual funding compared to previous years.”