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Extraordinary Council Meeting

24 May 2016


Item No:         Item 9

Subject:         Cultural Action Plan 2016 - 2020  

File Ref:         16/4718/56972.16         

Prepared By: Josephine Bennett – A/Director Community Services, Marrickville and Naomi Bower - A/Arts and Cultural Development Coordinator, Marrickville  

Authorised By: Vanessa Chan -  Interim General Manager




Council is advised that the Draft Marrickville Cultural Action Plan 2016 - 2020 was placed on public exhibition from 14 March to 4 April 2016. The feedback received has been considered in the finalisation of the plan.







1.       the report be received and noted; and

2.       Council endorses the implementation of the Draft Marrickville Cultural Action Plan.






Following the release of the State Government’s Cultural Planning Guidelines in 2004, Council engaged consultant Susan Conroy to undertake a comprehensive research project into the arts and cultural life of the Marrickville LGA that included a program of consultations, seminars, and surveys in the community, the arts and the creative industries to build a comprehensive map of the cultural landscape of the area.  With over 1,000 individuals, groups and businesses consulted, the findings were presented as the Marrickville Cultural Research Report 2008, Celebrating our diverse and creative community: Culture as we live it (CC14, June 2008), and largely informed the development of the Marrickville Cultural Policy 2010.


The Marrickville Cultural Policy 2010 articulates a position for Council on its role in local culture, in which culture is used as an inclusive term incorporating creativity, community, diversity, knowledge and heritage as expressed in the social, physical, economic and governance spheres that create the way of life unique to the Marrickville local government area.  The Marrickville Cultural Policy 2010 notes that implementation will occur through the development of specific strategies and plans. The Cultural Action Plan 2016-2020 (CAP 2016 – 2020) presents the key strategic actions for the implementation of the Marrickville Cultural Policy.


Council’s Community and Corporate Services Committee endorsed the public exhibition of the Draft Marrickville Cultural Action Plan 2016 – 2020 (CC0316 Item 4) for 21 Days.





The draft CAP has been prepared with a view to being largely implemented within existing resources. Any unfunded actions will be considered as part of the annual budget development process.





CAP Overview

The draft CAP 2016-2020 sets out a strategic four year plan of actions within each of the three policy spheres of the Marrickville Cultural Policy – the Creative Life, the Creative Community and the Creative Economy. It is intended as a strategic and targeted plan, rather than one that attempts to address the broad spectrum of arts and culture in Marrickville. The actions were selected based on community feedback undertaken in mid-2015 – please see below for further details. Each of the three policy areas contains three key priorities, which in turn contain a number of specific outcomes. Indicators or measures for each of those outcomes is detailed in the table that starts on P27 of the draft plan.

The CAP can be considered a strategic refinement of the programs and services Council is already undertaking, and it therefore has been designed to tie in with Council’s other programs and strategies to maximise outcomes for the community while making the best strategic use of existing programs and services. The draft plan is intended as a high level document that will be implemented through specific plans for target areas including:

·    Marrickville Artist Residency Review 2015

·    Marrickville Library and History Services Plan

·    Library and History Strategy 2016-2020 (working title)

·    Marrickville Live Music Action Plan 2014

·    Marrickville Public Art Plan (in development)

·    Marrickville Sister Cities Plan (in development)

·    Public Domain Strategy (in development)

·    Marrickville Climate Change Plan 2015 – 2025

·    Marrickville Local Environment Plan 2011

·    Marrickville Disability Inclusion Action Plan (in development)


The CAP will be delivered through Council’s existing arts and cultural programs, including: 

·    Arts and Cultural Grants Program 

·    Independent Artist Grants Program

·    Marrickville Open Studio Trail

·    Sister Cities program

·    International Exchange Program 

·    Open Marrickville

·    Public Art Program including Street Art and Graffiti Management Program incorporating Perfect Match the Newtown Art Seat

·    Chrissie Cotter Gallery

·    Marrickville Artist Residency Program

·    Art Post ebulletin and online portal

·    Library and History Services Community Initiatives


CAP Development

Over the past 7 years, the information from the 2008 cultural research project has been built upon by regular feedback from Council groups and committees including the Marrickville Visual Arts Network, Live Music Marrickville Forum, Marrickville Aboriginal Consultative Committee, Marrickville Sister Cities Committee, Marrickville Public Art Reference Group and the dynamic Marrickville Artists Pool that contributes to peer review of arts and culture programs.


In preparing the CAP, the 2008 cultural research report was reviewed and targeted community consultation through the ‘#creativemarrickville campaign’ was undertaken to understand changes in key arts and cultural priorities.  ABS and NIEIR data was also used and revealed that not only is the local creative community stronger than ever, it is changing with new specialisations in art that crosses over into design and arts and technology, including film and music editing. 

The #creativemarrickville campaign was designed to touch base with the community in an innovative and engaging way and reconfirm existing research. It was not intended to be a full-scale community engagement process. As such, instagram, other social media and online surveys were used as the key means of engagement. Approximately 1000 postcards were distributed throughout the local area. Over 508 instagram posts were tagged with #creativemarrickville and the online survey received 35 responses, while there were 15 attendees at the Visual Arts Forum and 30 attendees at the Live Music Forum.

Analysis of the data revealed the following key trends and issues:

·    Street art and art in the public domain is key to our area's identity;

·    The need for artists' spaces, including help to establish venues, is a top priority;

·    Marrickville's communities love live music, community festivals and events;

·    Makers are increasingly calling Marrickville home;

·    We need more opportunities for kids and young people to participate in the arts and nurture their creativity; and

·    Marrickville needs strong, distinctive arts events with greater Sydney appeal.


CAP Presentation

The draft CAP has been designed as an ‘online plan’ that will feature a number of click-throughs to supporting plans and information. The attached version (ATTACHMENT 1) will be graphically re-designed for the online experience. As some of the supporting plans are still in development, provisions will be made for those documents, eg. through a landing page message. The CAP will also be supported by a number of short films that will also be linked to the document. These short films will showcase each cultural theme, eg. the creative life, the creative community and the creative economy, while a fourth film will provide an overview of local arts and culture. It is anticipated that this format will remain dynamic with new material and supporting documents to be added over the life of the plan.





The Draft Marrickville Cultural Action Plan was placed on public exhibition from 14 March to 4 April 2016. Notice of the public exhibition was included in the following:

·    social media;

·    ArtPost enewsletter;

·    Your Say Marrickville enews;

·    Council e-news March edition;

·    Council column in Inner West Courier;

·    Council’s website;

·    monthly Open For Comment posters displayed at the Administration building, libraries and community noticeboards; and

·    promoted at the 2016 Bairro Portugues Food and Wine Festival.




The CAP Have Your Say page was viewed 182 times with two responses received that addressed the needs of live music venues and better accessibility of library services. The feedback was considered in finalising the CAP.

Over 1000 individuals and groups were interviewed for Council’s original Cultural Research Mapping (Conroy, 2008) while the 2015 #creativemarrickville consultation included over 500 instagram responses, 35 online survey responses and two industry focus groups.










Cultural Action Plan