The Art Gallery Fiasco:- What have we learnt?

A major expansion of Newcastle’s Art Gallery has been a dream of supporters of the Gallery for years.  Until recently, it seemed that this would finally be achieved, with plans in place, fourteen million dollars of Federal and State funds on the table, and building work under way.  Now the building work is on hold, the funds gone, and questions are being asked:- Why? and What happens now?

Newcastle Institute 02 on Vimeo.

Vic Levi, one of the panellists for the evening has kindly provided a copy of his notes which you can download here

The next forum of the Newcastle Institute will focus on the lessons of this fiasco.  How can the city avoid such failures of decision-making and resultant waste?  Why did the community lose interest?  Is a large major gallery what the city wants or needs anyway?  Are sports facilities or road repairs a better priority? If there are going to be public funds to support for the arts, should they be spent in different ways?   And are there lessons for any type of community group wanting to gain funding and support for their projects? 

These questions will be addressed by a panel representing a variety of perspectives:- Denise Frost from the Art Gallery Foundation;  Vic Levi, Chairman of Hunter Academy of Sport;  Chris Ford, Communications Consultant & Art Patron; Martin McKenzie of Octapod, representing young, alternate and emerging artists; and Gillean Shaw, Art Curator at Newcastle University. Bernie Curran will take the role of facilitator in a Q&A style panel/public discussion.

There are a wide variety of opinions in the community about the Art Gallery, but the city needs to put the fiasco behind it, and make better plans for the future.

NOTE:- Since posting the original notice, we have realised that we have made an error.  We were incorrect to state ‘$14 million of Federal and State funds (were) on the table’.  The Federal Government had made a budgeted commitment of $7million. (These funds were later shifted to Lake Macquarie when the Art Gallery project stalled).  The State Government had at times suggested matching funds would be available, but these funds were never committed as such.  They were never ‘on the table’.   

 This forum is open to the general public.  Admission is a $5 donation and can be paid at the door. Bookings not required.

What?      The Art Gallery Fiasco:-  What have we learnt?

Who?       Newcastle Institute Monthly Forum

When?     Wednesday October 9th 7.00pm       

Where?    Newcastle City Hall (Hunter Room) Please note that wheelchair access is available by lift from the Wheeler Place entrance.



2 Responses

  1. There is a mistake in the information above which refers to funds from Federal and State Government. There has been no funding from the State Government. The funding has been provided $7 mln by the (previous) Federal Government, $6 mln from NCC, $1 mln raised by the community and an additional $7 mln raised by the special rate increase approved by IPART.

  2. Although present on the night, I missed some valid points made by speakers. Have changed my view on Art Gallery redevelopment. Thank you for opportunity to revisit on New Institute website.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

Interested in becoming a member of the Newcastle Institute?

Already a Member?