Together with the Victorian State Government, and five other philanthropic organisations, the Foundation has funded the ambitious re-development of the former Collingwood Technical School on Johnston Street.
Taking inspiration from a successful social enterprise model operating in the USA and Canada, the disused TAFE site will be revived via an extensive urban renewal project. The space will be transformed into a major cultural hub for Melbourne’s inner-north, providing affordable and secure tenancies for emerging artists to develop and nurture their craft, collaborate with other artists, and showcase their work.
The site will comprise of artist’s studios, accommodation for young artists-in-residence, office spaces for arts organisations, rehearsal spaces, and indoor and outdoor venues for performances and exhibitions. The Precinct will also provide beautiful and welcoming public spaces for the community to congregate in and enjoy.
The Foundation has a firm commitment to keeping inner Melbourne vibrant, and ensuring that young people in particular, have access to the tools and amenities that enable creative, social and cultural expression. Melbourne’s rapid gentrification and rising rents have swallowed up many venues and studios that were once home to artists and musicians, pushing young creatives out of innercity suburbs like Fitzroy, Collingwood and Richmond. The project will keep creativity thriving in the inner city by offering tenancies at 30 per cent below market rate, enabling young and mid-career artists to focus on making art, rather than financial survival.
Collingwood is one of Melbourne’s most culturally diverse neighbourhoods, including a number of marginalised and disadvantaged populations. The Collingwood Arts Precinct has potential to bring great cultural, social and economic benefits to hundreds of people, including the local Indigenous community and people from migrant and refugee backgrounds.
Victorian Minister for Creative Industries, Martin Foley, commented at the Precinct launch that the project
was only made possible through philanthropic funding, “If it wasn’t for philanthropy, this wouldn’t have
happened,” said Mr Foley.
Lord Mayor’s Charitable Foundation is proud to be one of the first organisations to commit to funding
such an important community asset.