Funding programs offer $1.25 million boost for COVID-affected sectors

Funding programs offer $1.25 million boost for COVID-affected sectors

Two street art festivals will help draw visitors into the city centre, increase spending with local businesses and showcase the talents of local artists, thanks to support from City of Newcastle.

The large-scale murals of Big Picture Fest will return to Newcastle in 2022, as one of 16 projects awarded a share of almost $800,000 through the City Centre and Darby Street Special Business Rate funding program.

The inaugural Little Festival will bring miniature street art to hidden locations across the CBD as one of 59 projects sharing in more than $450,000 of Community Support and Infrastructure Grants.

Newcastle Lord Mayor, Nuatali Nelmes said the funding being distributed across a range of grant programs will support industries hardest hit by COVID-19 and ensure that as restrictions continue to lift the city is ready to respond.

“City of Newcastle is committed to supporting our city as it emerges from the social and financial impacts of this pandemic and will continue to direct much-needed funds into developing opportunities in the local economy,” Nuatali said.

“Supporting initiatives such as Big Picture Fest and Little Festival will not only provide a welcome influx of commissions for artists, it will also drive visitors into the city centre, increase expenditure at local businesses and help create more vibrant, activated spaces throughout the course of the events and beyond.”

Councillor, Carol Duncan said Newcastle’s arts sector had been hit hard by the impacts of COVID-19, with lockdown restrictions curtailing opportunities for creatives, visual and performing artists.

“Newcastle is known for its thriving arts scene, but the challenges presented by COVID-19, including the recent lockdown restrictions, have had a massive impact on our creative communities,” Carol said.

“I can’t wait to see our creative communities emerge from the lockdown to deliver some of the fantastic initiatives being supported by these funding programs.”

Little Festival Organiser, Jacinta Fintan said the event would feature 40 tiny street art installations that would transform everyday city spaces into a canvas for storytelling and interaction, encouraging visitors to experience Newcastle on a different scale.

“City of Newcastle’s financial support for Little Festival has been a crucial step in turning my little idea into a brave new festival,” Jacinta said.

“After 18 long months of the pandemic flatlining the arts industry, it is really heartening to see bold and enterprising art funding underpin Newcastle’s arts recovery process.”

The Community Support and Infrastructure Grants assist a wide variety of projects across diverse funding streams including business façade improvements, recreational facility upgrades, sustainability and environmental programs and social inclusion initiatives.

Arts, culture and heritage projects are also funded under this program, with successful applicants including the National Young Writers Festival, the next instalment in the Stories of Our Town documentary series, the Newcastle Music Festival and a multidisciplinary program of exhibitions and live events at The Lock-Up.

Special Business Rates are collected from businesses in Newcastle City Centre / Darby Street, Hamilton, Mayfield, New Lambton and Wallsend for the promotion, beautification, and development of those precincts.

Other successful projects under this round of City Centre and Darby Street funding include the mouth-watering return of Newcastle Food Month, the inspiring creations of Chalk the Walk Newcastle, and a new project by Makers and Traders Newcastle.

Festival Director, Katerina Skoumbas said Big Picture Fest is looking forward to bringing even more of Newcastle’s personality out onto the streets.

“This art is for everybody. It’s so important to reflect our local culture and to include the artists in this phase of change, a time when Newcastle’s urban landscape is shifting,” Katerina said.

“There are so many blank walls throughout the city that we pass on our daily commutes and when you turn that blank wall into a canvas, you bring colour, joy and life to the whole community.”

IMAGE | Little Festival Organiser Jacinta Fintan, Cr Carol Duncan, Newcastle Lord Mayor, Nuatali Nelmes and Big Picture Fest Organiser, Katerina Skoumbas in front of murals created by artists Sophia Flegg, Mitch Revs and Tom Henderson during last year’s Big Picture Fest.

City of Newcastle

In 2030, Newcastle will be a smart, liveable and sustainable city.

Council developed and adopted a suite of strategic documents to guide delivery of Council's seven key strategic directions, outlined in the Newcastle 2030 Community Strategic Plan.

  •  A Connected City
  •  A Protected and Enhanced Environment
  •  Vibrant and Activated Public Places
  •  A Caring and Inclusive Community
  •  A Liveable and Distinctive Built Environment
  •  A Smart and Innovative City
  •  Open and Collaborative Leadership

This planning strategy has assisted in the delivery of a City Revitalisation Program that has encouraged a large investment in the City by both Government and private investors that are willing to prove that Newcastle is ready for change.   

Trending Articles

Advertise with us

Affordable and engaging advertising to a business community

Submit an article

Tell your story to the Hunter business community

Does your business need a little help with its marketing?

Marketing strategies

This website uses cookies
We use cookies to personalise content and ads, to provide social media features and to analyse our traffic. We also share information about your use of our site with our social media, advertising and analytics partners who may combine it with other information that you’ve provided to them or that they’ve collected from your use of their services.