Inner West Arts and Music Recovery Plan boosts creative sector

Thursday 8 June 2023

Inner West Council is rolling out a raft of initiatives to invigorate the local arts and live music scene, responding to appeals and inspiration from the creative sector.

Council will launch 14 initiatives as part of the Arts and Music Recovery Plan, endorsed by council at its last meeting in May.

The comprehensive plan is based on feedback from the creative community at the Inner West Arts Summit held in June last year, with the aim of mobilising local artists, creative businesses, and supporters of the arts to resuscitate the sector following the COVID-19 emergency.

Summit attendees told council there was a desperate need for more affordable and accessible spaces for creatives.

In response, Council is holding open days at all seven Town Halls to find out how the spaces can be transformed to accommodate their needs, ideas and inspiration.

By the end of June, Council will have thrown open the doors at all town halls and is committed to customising these iconic halls into fit-for-purpose arts and culture spaces.

Inner West Councillor Chloe Smith said: “Council has heard directly from the sector on how we can better support arts and culture in the Inner West and now we’re delivering.

“Our Arts and Music Recovery Plan will provide much needed support and create more opportunities for both established and aspiring artists.

“We want all artists to know that their work is deeply valued and respected by Inner West Council, and for young people in particular to view the arts as a viable career pathway.

“The Inner West is the beating heart of live music and arts in Sydney and we are determined to keep it that way.”

The Arts and Music Recovery Music Plan initiatives include:

  • Creative in-Residence pilot in Early Learning Centres
  • Creative Residencies in Parks
  • A commitment to explore opportunities to employ artists as part of engagement for Council masterplans and other public space design work
  • A pilot program to engage young people in the co-design and delivery of a Perfect Match street art project with an established artist during 2023
  • Partnering with Boomalli Arts Cooperative to mentor two Indigenous arts workers to gain the practical skills for large scale arts delivery
  • Audio descriptions of Perfect Match artworks, commencing with a roll out of twenty artworks.

Local performer and producer Laura Hart (aka Big Rod) says the initiatives will help build on the inner west’s reputation as a melting pot for creative expression.

“The arts scene in the inner west is truly unique - the vibrancy, diversity and talent here is a huge part of why I am proud to call this place my home,” said Hart.

“Myself, and many other creatives have been given opportunities that have provided invaluable experience and helped build my career.”

As part of the recovery plan, Council has already introduced a new film category in the 2023 Young Creatives Awards.

Young Creative award winners are engaged as advisory panel members and content producers for youth programming at Inner West libraries.

Importantly, the plan embraces initiatives to foster understanding and connection of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Island people.

Council is creating a new Aboriginal Walking Trail to join the three Survival Memorials and the Aboriginal Community Hub. The proposed trail will join Ashfield Station, through Pratten Park, the new Lewis Herman Reserve and then onto Yeo Park.

Community-led live music is also being supported through the Inner West Live Music Activation program.

The program, based on the huge success of the Council-supported St. Anmore Music Festival, offers up to $20,000 in funding to five local communities and creatives to deliver live music events.

Expressions of Interest closed in May and council is currently contacting the five successful individuals or organisations, representing each of the five wards.

Background Notes:

 The Arts and Music Recovery Plan is an action plan, but also an advocacy piece.

  • The new Australian Cultural Policy, “Revive” was launched on 30 January 2023.
  • The five pillars of Revive align closely with Inner West Council’s new Arts and Music Recovery plan.
  • The policy complements the work that Council is undertaking, and we see Revive as both an opportunity to collaborate and as an exciting moment for the creative sector at large.
  • In September 2022 Council resolved to “identify opportunities for further advocacy work to shape State and Federal arts policy.” and will continue to do so.
  • The initiatives foster opportunities and programs for artists, Aboriginal and Torres Strait people, young people, people with a disability and children.

Register your interest here to be notified when opportunities become available post framework implementation.

If you have questions or would like to discuss this further contact:

Emmaly Langridge
Arts Programs Officer leading this project
+61 2 9335 2141


For media enquiries and quotes please contact Brett Clancy on 02 9335 2193 or 0416155949 –

Thanks for your feedback. We will use this data to improve the content of this page.

Page last updated: 20 Jun 2023