NSW Arts and Cultural Policy

The NSW Government is developing an Arts and Cultural Policy as part of its initiative - NSW 2021: A Plan to Make NSW Number One.

Under Goal 27 of NSW 2021, the NSW Government committed to developing an Arts and Cultural Policy that recognises the sector’s central economic role. The Policy will set the future direction for support for arts and cultural initiatives across the State.

Discussion Paper

The Discussion Paper is a framework for dialogue with the public and the arts and cultural sector, to contribute to the development of the NSW Arts and Cultural Policy. It was prepared by Arts NSW under the guidance of the five-member Arts and Cultural Policy Reference Group appointed earlier this year by the Minister for Arts.

Given councils are leaders of arts and culture with their communities, this new policy may have implications and opportunities for councils.


The NSW Government consultation period for the Arts and Cultural Policy discussion paper closed Friday 20 December 2013. Arts NSW held face-to-face forums across the state.

Local Government NSW (LGNSW) held a consultation forum with councils, where Arts NSW delivered a briefing and heard directly from the sector.

LGNSW invited councils to make submissions and to participate in the forums. 

LGNSW's submission (PDF, 318KB) makes a series of recommendations.

LGNSW recommends that:

  • The policy identifies strategies to support the capacity of Local Government in arts and cultural development.
  • A broader scope of Local Government roles in arts and culture be identified in the NSW Arts and Cultural Policy and its associated action plan.
  • It be recognised as a partner in the development, delivery and reporting of the Arts and Cultural Policy, and that the partnership be formalised through a new Cultural Accord.
  • Cultural planning undertaken by councils with their communities be drawn upon to inform state planning, partnerships and funding.
  • The Fifth Cultural Accord be developed in conjunction with the NSW Arts and Culture Policy.
  • The Fifth Cultural Accord be recognised as a key instrument alongside the Arts and Cultural Policy, with each being informed by and acknowledging the other.
  • The Fifth Cultural Accord be designed to formalise the policy partnership between NSW State and Local Governments.
  • An intergovernmental strategy toward development of both new and renewed Local Government cultural venues.
  • LGNSW formally represent councils in the advisory group for the Cultural Venues Plan.
  • Councils be recognised as partners in the development and delivery of the Cultural Venues Plan.
  • The Cultural Venues Plan be reflected in the new Cultural Accord.
  • Community scale facilities be recognised as key considerations in both the Arts and Cultural Policy and the Cultural Venues Plan.

Related submission

Arts NSW is also undertaking a review of their Arts funding program. LGNSW made a submission which is useful to cite in conjunction with the policy submission. Outcomes of the Arts Funding Program Review have not yet been released.