$2 million cash grants to boost bright ideas

City of Sydney

First Nations peoples, business startups, local residents and LGBTIQA+ communities are just some of the beneficiaries of the City of Sydney’s latest grants program.

More than $2.1 million in cash and in-kind value has been awarded to 59 local projects that aim to build the social, cultural, environmental and economic life of the city.

The funding brings the total the City of Sydney has awarded so far this financial year to more than $19.4 million in cash and in-kind value for 367 projects.

Lord Mayor Clover Moore said the City of Sydney’s grants program is helping local projects get off the ground, bringing ideas to fruition that benefit the whole community.

“The grants we provide are a reflection of the City’s values, helping us celebrate culture and creativity, support the local economy, encourage sustainability and boost business growth,” the Lord Mayor said.

“This work, providing targeted funds to our creatives, businesses and community groups, has been especially important through the pandemic. We’re continuing to help all the people who make our city great not only survive this difficult period but thrive anew.

“When the pandemic hit, many foretold the decline of cities. Looking through the list of projects and events we’re helping fund I’m filled with renewed optimism that couldn’t be further from the truth. We are a community that supports each other, that learns from each other, that goes out and has fun together.

“With sights firmly on recovery, we know these small grants will have a big impact. We are backing the community groups that provide vital services, helping local businesses recover and grow and breathing new life into Sydney’s cultural and night-time economy. There is energy and excitement and so much to look forward to in the city.”

Darlinghurst Theatre has been awarded more than $21,000 to help with the production of a new festival celebrating First Nations work.

Big Blak Bang is a two-week First Nations festival of theatre, music and visual art developed by, for and with First Nations people of Sydney, to be held at the Eternity Playhouse.

“The guiding principle of this project is sovereignty for First Nations cultural leaders and artists – the Eternity Playhouse will become a community space for Aboriginal art and culture,” said Amylia Harris, artistic director of the Darlinghurst Theatre.

“Big Blak Bang is a space for emerging and established Blak artists to present exciting contemporary work. The concept for the festival has been something I’ve been interested in presenting for a long time, to give access to projects that sit outside of traditional western form and process,” added creative director, Amy Sole.

Other projects to benefit from the latest round of grants include:

  • Classes, workshops and professional development opportunities for First Nations people in Aboriginal contemporary and traditional dance
  • A series of free weekly live music events to revitalise the city centre, featuring some of Australia’s best soul and blues performers
  • An event at Sydney Town Hall to raise awareness of solutions to end homelessness and the importance of investment in social and affordable housing
  • A program to provide vulnerable women a safe space where they can connect to community and access support
  • A two-week festival at Redfern focussing on the reuse and repair sector in the local area, with a showcase of practical workshops, arts, displays and activities
  • A feasibility report to research current and potential use of spaces in the local area for dance activities
  • An Indigenous Digital Story Development program to support indigenous businesses to connect, tell their stories and access technology to build stronger, more resilient and well-connected businesses
  • Development of an Apartment Building and Community Disaster Resilience Plan and Toolkit in written form and website ready for use across the LGA
  • The customisation of a current online platform to grow visitor economy across the LGA by promoting local attractions and experiences
  • An aerial LGBTQIA+ performance by Legs On The Wall on the Sydney Harbour Bridge during Sydney WorldPride
  • A 10 day music festival that celebrates women in jazz at various venues across the local area
  • A free one-day event where community members parade to their own story on a giant catwalk, backed by music, photos and poetic texts, as part of the Sydney Opera House’s 50th Anniversary.

The City of Sydney is also awarding 8 grants to the value of more than $70,000 through its environmental and green building grant program. The program focuses on building operations and ratings and assessments to assist building owners achieve green results for residents, businesses and the community.

“There’s a growing interest across our residential communities to improve environmental performance,” the Lord Mayor said.

“Through these grants, we are enabling the capacity of residents and businesses to improve environmental performance in our local area.”

The City of Sydney’s next round of grants will open in February 2023.

/Public Release. This material from the originating organization/author(s) may be of a point-in-time nature, edited for clarity, style and length. The views and opinions expressed are those of the author(s).