City economy

Cash grants boosting local initiatives

We’re giving more than $2 million in grants to fund projects that make Sydney a great place to live, work and visit.

Amy Sole First Nations work FoEA Burning

In 2021, Wiradjuri/Worimi director and playwright, Amy Sole, was asked what First Nations artists needed from Darlinghurst Theatre Company. The answer was sovereignty.

From this response stemmed the idea to create a First Nations festival led by First Nations artists.

Darlinghurst Theatre Company artistic director, Amylia Harris, said the concept was simple.

“We hand over the venue, staffing and resources to Amy Sole as creative director and Phoebe Grainer as creative producer, and together they curate and produce Big Blak Bang,” Amylia said.

“I am thrilled to step aside and support such exciting cultural leaders as they champion emerging new talent.”

Big Blak Bang creative director Amy Sole
Big Blak Bang creative director Amy Sole

“Big Blak Bang is a space for emerging and established Blak artists to present exciting contemporary work. The concept for the festival has been something I've been interested in presenting for a long time, to give access to projects that sit outside of traditional western form and process,” Amy said.

Darlinghurst Theatre Company is working to recognise and respect First Nations sovereignty, so when Amylia asked me what I wanted to present, I knew Big Blak Bang was the perfect fit.

Big Blak Bang is one of almost 60 projects that have been given funding through our latest round of grants.

We’re supporting a range of local projects that aim to build the social, cultural, environmental and economic life of the city.

The funding brings the total we have awarded so far this financial year to more than $19.4 million in cash and in-kind value for 367 projects.

“The grants we provide are a reflection of the City of Sydney’s values, helping us celebrate culture and creativity, support the local economy, encourage sustainability and boost business growth,” Clover Moore, Lord Mayor of Sydney said.

“This work, providing targeted funds to our creatives, businesses and community groups, has been especially important through the pandemic. We’re continuing to help all the people who make our city great not only survive this difficult period but thrive anew.”

Other projects to benefit from the latest round of grants include:

  • Classes, workshops and professional development opportunities for First Nations people in Aboriginal contemporary and traditional dance.
  • A series of free weekly live music events to revitalise the city centre, featuring some of Australia's best soul and blues performers.
  • An event at Sydney Town Hall to raise awareness of solutions to end homelessness and the importance of investment in social and affordable housing.
  • A program to provide vulnerable women a safe space where they can connect to community and access support.
  • A 2-week festival at Redfern focusing on the reuse and repair sector in the local area, with a showcase of practical workshops, arts, displays and activities.
  • A feasibility report to research current and potential use of spaces in the local area for dance activities.
  • An Indigenous digital story development program to support Indigenous businesses to connect, tell their stories and access technology to build stronger, more resilient and well-connected businesses
  • Development of an apartment building and community disaster resilience plan and toolkit in written form and website ready for use across the local area.
  • The customisation of a current online platform to grow visitor economy across the local area by promoting local attractions and experiences
  • An aerial LGBTIQA+ performance by Legs On The Wall on the Sydney Harbour Bridge during Sydney WorldPride.
  • A 10 day music festival that celebrates women in jazz at various venues across the local area.
  • A free one-day event where community members parade to their own story on a giant catwalk, backed by music, photos and poetic texts, as part of the Sydney Opera House's 50th anniversary.

Our next round of grants will open in February 2023.

Find out more about our extensive grants and sponsorships programs.

Published 29 November 2022, updated 14 February 2024