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Penrith City Council’s collaboration with The Joan identifies opportunities for the Centre

Penrith City Council’s collaboration with The Joan identifies opportunities for the Centre
October 11, 2021

Penrith City Council’s collaboration with The Joan Sutherland Performing Arts Centre (The Joan) - one of Western Sydney’s most popular creative hubs – has identified new ways the venue can attract patrons and broaden its program. 

Initial market research conducted through an online survey in late 2020 and aimed at engaging the local community and arts and culture enthusiasts resulted in Council receiving an overwhelming response, with many pockets of the community providing feedback which enabled a broader review of The Joan’s greatest attributes and opportunities. This was followed up with four community focus group sessions held in February this year. 

Penrith City Council General Manager, Warwick Winn, said the collaborative market research results highlight opportunities for improvement and lay the foundation for exciting things to come at The Joan, including a new café.  

Winn notes “hearing from our community and gathering feedback from residents and those in surrounding LGAs has been a fantastic exercise, giving Council valuable insight to how the amenity at The Joan can be enhanced in the coming years.

“Positive feedback revealed the majority of visitors have enjoyed their experience at The Joan and are interested in more diverse entertainment options. 

“Another message received loud and clear was the need for a place where patrons can meet on site prior to shows and then relax and unpack their experience afterwards – that’s why Council is proud to announce we will be bringing a café to The Joan.

“Council and The Joan are eager to deliver this service to the wider community and improve the building’s amenity while creating a commercial offering that will support the venue’s operations.” 

Other common themes emerged from the market research, such as the need for internal upgrades and activating the outdoor area near The Joan.

The survey questions ranged from asking participants for their preferred event types and willingness to travel, to features they look for in a venue and their spending budgets.  

Hania Radvan, Chief Executive of Penrith Performing & Visual Arts (PP&VA) , said the community’s feedback has been “reassuring” and as a result The Joan is excited to create a more holistic experience for patrons. 

Radvan shared “we did learn that gaps we had identified in our programming were keenly desired – and they are what we are working on for when we are able to reopen – particularly to increase comedy and contemporary music programming. 

“We learned that people really value staying and supporting local, and appreciate having a place to gather and share. That is important to us too, and a big part of what we do, so we are looking to add in new ways of promoting and extending that work.”

The Joan opened in 1990 and was celebrated with a performance from Dame Joan Sutherland, who was accompanied by Maestro Richard Bonynge. 

Managed by PP&VA and overseen by Council, the High Street venue is estimated to have more than 122,000 people through its doors each year. 

Find out more at  

Image: PP&VA Chief Executive, Hania Radvan, and Penrith City Council’s General Manager, Warwick Winn, at The Joan.

Related Articles

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9th June 2021 - Penrith celebrates Make Music Day 2021 with local pop-up events

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14th April 2021 - Penrith City Council continues its valued support of Panthers Netball

12th November 2020 - Penrith City Council completes transformation of St Clair Leisure Centre

14th October 2020 - Penrith interactive artworks celebrate collaboration, creativity and culture

14th July 2020 - Concept design unveiled for Penrith’s new City Park

16th March 2020 - Penrith celebrates 40-year anniversary of regional gallery inception

13th February 2019 - Funding delivers upgrades to Penrith recreational and play facilities

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