The State’s Cultural Institutions are set to receive blockbuster funding in the 2021-22 NSW Budget, including a $40 million commitment to support the attraction of major cultural exhibitions from across the globe to NSW over the next four years.

Treasurer Dominic Perrottet said this year’s Budget also includes $220.6 million for Cultural Institutions to undertake capital works – including funding for completion of the landmark Sydney Modern project and critical upgrade work across all institutions.

“We want to establish Sydney as the nation’s cultural capital by securing world-class exhibitions that will attract tens of thousands of people through the doors of our iconic museums and galleries,” Mr Perrottet said.

“Boosting our state’s cultural offerings will help support and create jobs by attracting interstate visitors to enjoy the best our city and state has to offer and will put us in pole position to capitalise on the return of international visitors when our borders reopen.”

Children in Australian Museum Sharks exhibition

Minister for the Arts Don Harwin said in addition to supporting cultural institutions in bringing international blockbusters to the State, operational funding has increased to $361.6 million, with significant increases allocated to the Art Gallery of NSW and the Australian Museum to support expanded operations as the new capital works come on line.

“Today, I am pleased to announce the NSW Government is providing $40 million over the next four years to bring blockbuster exhibitions to NSW for the community to enjoy, and for the economic and social benefit of the State,” Mr Harwin said.

“The tremendous cost of bringing the biggest and best exhibitions to Australia has been a significant barrier.”

“Not only will this new funding bring international blockbusters to our State, it will also allow us to create our own world-class exhibitions that can be toured around the world.”

“We can bring Alexander McQueen’s designs to NSW and take Catherine Martin’s collections around the world.”

The NSW Government is also committing funding to support free general admission to cultural institutions in and around the Macquarie Street precinct for the next 12 months, as part of continued efforts to get revitalise the CBD and make arts and culture more accessible to all.

The Blockbuster Funding agreement will make available $10 million per year, for the next four years, to the State’s cultural institutions and organisations to help pay for the previously prohibitive costs to transport collections to Australia, promotion of the exhibitions and the costs associated with installation and insurance.

Ramses the Great exhibition

Director and CEO of the Australian Museum Kim McKay AO welcomed the funding, saying it would help attract blockbuster international exhibitions, while also providing further opportunities to develop and promote our local exhibitions to the world.

“This new funding will provide NSW cultural institutions like the Australian Museum with a greater ability to attract major global exhibitions to our State, like Ramses the Great and the Gold of the Pharaohs, which previously may have been out of our reach,” McKay said.

Ramses The Great and the Gold of the Pharaohs will come to Sydney in November 2023 for a six-month run at the Australian Museum.

“This funding will also help the Australian Museum to premier and globally tour one of the largest, most ambitious glimpses into sharks that any museum has ever produced. The Australian and Pacific relationship with sharks is completely unique – we know them, we understand them, we live with them every day, and we’re going to share this with the world.” McKay said.

SHARKS will premiere at the Australian Museum in Winter 2022 and will run through Summer 2023. It will then travel to the US and other destinations around the world.

Grey Nurse Shark

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Claire Vince, Media Advisor
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