Arts and Culture

Culture encompasses diverse avenues of expression in architecture, arts, history, language, education, leisure, work and daily life. It's all about our ability to 'tell our story' - an essential and defining human characteristic.

Councils' role

Councils are vital in enabling local people to participate in artistic and cultural expression. In a climate of expanding global homogeneity, local production and participation is increasingly important.

Councils serve important roles in delivering, funding, hosting, supporting and promoting arts and culture in their communities. In NSW they manage more than 4000 cultural sites, deliver services, programs, events and local cultural planning.

Councils invested $435.7m in arts and culture during 2012-13, a 3 per cent increase from $421.8m in 2011-12 (Australian Bureau of Statistics, 2014).

Current LGNSW initiatives

Communities and Culture - LGNSW Research into Arts, Culture and Heritage

Communities and Culture is a unique, qualitative study undertaken by LGNSW which identifies how councils deliver arts, culture and heritage services and, in doing so, highlights that existing quantitative data vastly under-represents the actual commitment of councils in NSW.

In-depth interviews were conducted with council general managers and senior directors between November 2015 and August 2016.

Communities and Culture reveals an otherwise untold story of council activities that add life and value to communities across NSW.

Local Government Museum Managers' Roundtable

Employment of professionals to manage council museum and heritage collections is an emerging trend in NSW. Since 2015 LGNSW has collaborated with Museums and Galleries NSW to facilitate pilot roundtable gatherings of local government employed staff who manage museum and heritage collections. The Roundtable is aimed at scoping how this sector of professionals can be better supported and recognised within the context of local government.

LGNSW's Tourism Conference

A chance for councils to learn how peers manage their tourism industries.

National Local Government Cultural Forum

A twice-yearly meeting attended by state and territory local government associations including LGNSW.

Past LGNSW initiatives

  • The Creative Ageing LG Grants program supported NSW council projects which increased the number of older people participating in creative activities. The program was delivered with the support of the NSW Government through the Office for Ageing.
  • LGNSW partnered in the production of a cultural mapping and planning resource for councils, 'All Culture is Local', which was launched in November 2013.



LGNSW's Arts and Cultural Development Program is supported by the NSW Government through Arts NSW.