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Cate Blanchett and Andrew Upton call for a bold, creative Sydney

Cate Blanchett and Andrew Upton call for a bold, creative Sydney
March 16, 2011

Sydney Theatre Company Artistic Directors Cate Blanchett and Andrew Upton have called for collaborative action to ensure that the city's Walsh Bay lives up to its potential of becoming one of the world's most vibrant cultural precincts.

In an address to a packed Sydney Town Hall audience, as part of the CityTalks series, Blanchett and Upton (pictured below) explained that "the burgeoning arts hub of Walsh Bay is perfectly placed to be the world's first green arts precinct and the beating heart of a cultural area stretching all the way from Barangaroo through to the Sydney Opera House.

"It's hard to believe Sydney Theatre Company was once a solitary outpost of the arts in Walsh Bay.

"Now with so many artists and companies already resident and more on the way, the development and enhancement of this growing precinct can be a great economic driver with boundless potential to assist in positioning Sydney as a multi-dimensional global city.

"To ensure this area delivers on its potential, it needs improved transport options, revitalised nooks and crannies, and more opportunities for people to linger and soak up the atmosphere."

Sydney Lord Mayor Clover Moore MP added "there's a vibrant creative spirit that exists in Sydney and it's one of our most precious resources because it inspires and challenges our everyday life, and it pulls in tourists and investment. We are nurturing and encouraging this spirit so our City grows more bold, fun and interesting.

"Sydney is home to 90,000 creative industry workers, twice the number of any other Australian city, so we take protecting artistic jobs very seriously. We're helping to seed new generations of artists and creative people with our $8 million grants and sponsorship program.

"We must also protect the 'cultural ribbon' that Sydney's major arts venues form around the foreshore from Darling Harbour to the Sydney Theatre Company and Bangarra in Walsh Bay, round to the MCA, Sydney Opera House, the Conservatorium and Art Gallery of NSW.

"We want more cultural and recreational activities as well as new public artworks to breathe new life into these areas.

"From artworks and small bars mushrooming in laneways to street upgrades and new parks which build on the unique identity of each area - we're helping to provide diversity and richness vital for a creative global city.

"All of these important creative elements are reliant on better transport in the city centre - ideally a light rail service running from George Street to Walsh Bay, through Barangaroo and back to Central Railway and better walking and cycling links.

"We also want to see a more vibrant late night economy, with more non alcohol related activities to attract a more diverse crowd to Sydney."

This summer Sydney hosted a comprehensive creative calendar - Sydney Festival, a summer season at the Opera House, Chinese New Year celebrations, the new Jurassic Lounge at the Australian Museum, the jazz festival at Walsh Bay, the Kahlil Gibran exhibition at the State Library, seasons of Uncle Vanya and Diary of a Madman with international award winning Australian actors, and a summer program at the Entertainment Centre.

The Lord Mayor, Cate Blanchett and Andrew Upton were speaking at one of the City's highly successful City Talks and were joined by other panelists at the event:

* Craig Allchin - Director, Six Degrees Architects
* Lisa Havilah - CEO, CarriageWorks;
* Rafael Bonachela - Artistic Director, Sydney Dance Company

CityTalks are free public presentations presented by the City of Sydney and The Sydney Morning Herald.




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