Row of paintbrushes

A new study tracking cultural activity across Greater Western Sydney has found artists and cultural practitioners in the region are resilient and optimistic about their professions, despite a relative lack of funding and resources. The Recalibrating Culture: Production, Consumption, Policy study surveyed over 200 artists and cultural practitioners living or working across metropolitan Sydney.

The research was led by Chief Investigators Professors Deborah Stevenson and David Rowe from the Institute for Culture and Society (ICS) at Western Sydney University.

"Previous research has found Western Sydney represents 1 in 10 Australians, yet attracts only 1% of Commonwealth arts program funding, and 5.5 % of New South Wales' cultural arts, heritage and events funding," said Professor Stevenson.

The study found most artists and cultural practitioners identify strongly with the region. A sense of community and of being outside 'mainstream' culture offers relative artistic freedom to many, and supports both aesthetic risk-taking and diverse cultural expression.

More information about the study's findings

Related item: Arts in the West of Sydney: the Great Divide? – The Conversation