Bathurst's arts and cultural sector has received a significant funding boost from the state government to support the creative industry over the next three years.
The state government yesterday announced more than $6.6 million in funding to NSW councils over the next three financial years as part of the Local Government Authorities [LGA] Arts and Cultural Program.
The funding includes $300,000 [$100,000 each year] for the Bathurst Regional Art Gallery [BRAG] and $200,000 [$40,000 for the first year, $80,000 for the remaining two] for the Bathurst Memorial Entertainment Centre [BMEC].
BRAG director Sarah Gurich said the funding serves as justification for Bathurst's conscientious arts sector.
"This is a significant achievement in a highly competitive funding round, representing a 20 per cent increase on BRAG's previous Create NSW funding, and the first program funding increase since 2016," Ms Gurich said.
"BRAG will continue to support contemporary art practice in regional NSW through a curated program of exhibitions, education and public programs, residencies, public art projects, and partnerships that support artists and engage a wide cross-section of the community to enhance the cultural vibrancy of the region."
BMEC acting centre manager Kylie Shead said the funding comes at an opportune time for the arts sector, who has faced significant disruption due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
"This funding will help us continue our Local Stages program with ease, which has been incredibly successful over the last 13 years," Ms Shead said.
"These are uncertain times for the arts industry, so this will allow us to forge secure partnerships with organisations and work towards a sustainable future."
NSW Arts Minister Don Harwin said regional councils will receive over 50 per cent of LGA funding for the first year of the program.
"The arts make a vital contribution to the liveability of our communities and enjoyment of our everyday lives and through this funding, councils around our state will be supported to deliver incredible cultural offerings," Mr Harwin said.
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