Local Government NSW (LGNSW) has called upon councils across NSW to nominate for the Leo Kelly OAM Arts and Culture Awards.
Nominations for the awards, which celebrate outstanding achievement by local government organisations in strategic planning and delivery of arts and culture to local communities, are now open.
“Local government is a key provider of arts and culture in NSW, contributing one third of the total investment in arts and culture in NSW,” LGNSW President Linda Scott said.
“Latest figures from the Australian Bureau of Statistics show that NSW councils invested more than $519 million in the arts and culture industry in 2015-16.
“Local government also owns and manages more than 600 museums and galleries as well as keeping places, theatres and performing arts centres, making it a major player in the sector.
“Arts and culture also has a strong connection with the natural and built environment and other industries such as local and regional tourism.
“Cultural programs are no longer just about social activity and enrichment as they also provide great economic value to councils – a change driven by councils’ need to innovate and be sustainable and to meet the demand for arts within the community.
“Local cultural activities and projects also give our communities a strong sense of identity and help to build cohesion – be it through art, music, performance, festivals or other live events.
“This is why it is so important to recognise and celebrate councils that have shown leadership and innovation in the field and helped build the capacity of the arts and cultural sector.”
Last year’s award winners, in their respective categories, include Griffith City Council – Centenary of Spears Projects; Wagga Wagga City Council – We are here – LGBTIQ stories of the Riverina; and Blacktown City Council – It’s Our Thing – More History on Australian Hip-Hop Project.
Coffs Harbour City Council was also Highly Commended for its five-year cultural strategic plan and policy.
“Given the scale and diversity of council-run arts and culture initiatives in NSW, I imagine the 2018 awards will be hotly contested and I look forward to finding out the winners, to be announced in Local Government Week in August 2018,” Clr Scott said.
The awards were introduced in 2017 to honour the late Councillor Leo Kelly OAM, a passionate and dedicated LGNSW Board member and champion of the arts.