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$1 million grant to help rebuild Melbourne’s La Mama Theatre

$1 million grant to help rebuild Melbourne’s La Mama Theatre
November 5, 2018

Having been devastated by fire earlier this year, Melbourne’s La Mama Theatre is set to be rebuilt following a one-off, $1 million grant from the Victorian Government.

The funding, which will boost the Theatre’s existing fundraising efforts and help attract further donations from the philanthropic sector, the funding follows an earlier allocation of $150,000 rescue that has helped the company to employ additional staff and access expert heritage and project management advice in the wake of the fire.

Widely considered the birthplace of independent Australian theatre, La Mama’s Faraday Street home was burnt down in May, leading to Australia’s arts community and others rallying behind the beloved venue.

Since then, the small La Mama team has worked tirelessly to continue to provide opportunities for local artists and present performances, while dealing with the aftermath of the fire and planning for the rebuild. They are now based at the nearby La Mama Courthouse venue.

The renewal project will respect the heritage and spirit of the site and restore and repurpose as much of the original building as possible. It also provides the opportunity to make La Mama fully accessible and ensure the building best serves the needs of future generations of artists.

Announcing the funding, Victoria’s Minister for Creative Industries Martin Foley stated “La Mama has contributed so much to our creative industries and to our cultural life – backing artists, creative risk-taking and ideas since the 1960s.

“The passion, commitment and resilience of this place, and the people behind it, has shone through over the last six months and I hope this $1 million helps La Mama get back on its feet and return stronger than ever.”

La Mama has appointed Meg White as lead architect for the project. White has a long and close association with the theatre, designing multiple productions and was once the house manager.

Architecture and construction firm Cottee Parker is also on board alongside a team of highly experienced heritage and project consultants.

La Mama Theatre Artistic Director Liz Jones added “La Mama, so devastated by the fire in May, has been given great heart by the Labor Government’s grant of $1 million to launch our fundraising campaign.

“This very substantial contribution will indeed help us restore our beloved theatre to its vital role in the cultural life of Victoria.”

Work is expected to commence on the Faraday Street site next year and be completed by 2020.

For more information go to

Images: Wikimedia Commons.

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