With Minister for the Arts John Graham “declaring war” on the lure of the evening couch,  Campbelltown and Camden will soon come alive with some exciting after dusk cultural events.

Both Culture Up Late @ Campbelltown Arts Centre and Camden’s Cultural Fusion have been successful in their application for a share of $1.9 million of funding from the Western Sydney Culture Up Late initiative.

“Campbelltown has a blossoming arts and cultural community, and this initiative will let us show us just how great they are,” Member for Campbelltown Greg Warren said.

Campbelltown City Council received $200,000 to present a program that will allow the Campbelltown Arts Centre to remain open from 5pm to 9pm on Thursdays, and selected Friday and Saturday evenings between November 2023 and January 2024.

In this time multi-artform artist-led programs will be run aimed at extended engagement with artists, local communities and visitors under the banner ‘Sundown Sessions’.

Further to the ‘Sundown Sessions’ program, the Arts Centre will also be facilitating a series of talks, tours and workshops as well as arts markets and live performances.

Camden’s Cultural Fusion is a captivating after 5pm experience that invites audiences to immerse themselves in a multi-faceted cultural world that combines live performance, inspiring art, bustling markets, and soul- stirring music.

“Cultural Fusion will be buzzing with live music, and curated events taking place in and around our town’s unique local restaurants,” Member for Camden Sally Quinnell said.

“Camden has a fast-growing night- time economy and thanks to the Culture Up Late Western Sydney initiative, we can invite our communities to share in these unmissable and exciting experiences.”

The NSW Government’s Western Sydney Culture Up Late initiative supports local arts and cultural organisations to develop new programs, engage new audiences and create vibrant local precincts connecting local restaurants, bars, retailers, and transport providers, through activations targeted to an after 5pm audience.

“The Western Sydney Culture Up Late program showcases some of the most exciting cultural offerings Sydney has to offer, Mr Graham said.

“These precincts are already key cultural destinations, and this coming spring to summer they’ll become undoubtedly Sydney’s must-visit locations.”

The 11 successful grant recipients sharing in $1.9 million in funding are:

  • ACE after Dusk: A new night-time cultural event series – Arts & Cultural Exchange Inc
  • Art Nights: Culture Alive @ Bankstown – Canterbury Bankstown Council
  • Blacktown After 5 – Blacktown Arts and Vyva Entertainment – Blacktown City Council
  • Camden’s Cultural Fusion – The Council of Camden
  • Casula Powerhouse Arts Centre Up Late Program – Liverpool City Council
  • Creative Penrith by Night: A Summer of Art for Everyone – Penrith Performing & Visual Arts
  • Culture Up Late @ Campbelltown Arts Centre – Campbelltown City Council
  • Culturvate: Exploring art, cuisine and culture – Powerhouse Youth Theatre Inc.
  • Granville Centre Art Gallery presents a series of Late events – Cumberland City Council
  • Parramatta Up Late Program – City of Parramatta
  • TO YOUR DOOR Fairfield Nights – Think & DO Tank Foundation

“We are declaring war on the lure of the couch with these night time cultural events. It is part of Sydney bouncing back after a tough decade after dark,” Mr Graham said.

“As we are working on developing the first ever cultural strategy that includes the creative industries the initiatives in the Culture Up Late program are exactly the types of dynamic programming I want to see more of – programs that will enliven their regions and provide greater employment opportunities for performers, creatives and arts workers.”

For full details of the programs supported by Western Sydney Culture Up Late visit: www.nsw.gov.au/grants-and-funding/western-sydney-culture-up-late-program

Photo: Chris Frape, Clare Hawley / Facebook