|Formed||13 May 1971 (Ministry of Cultural Activities)
3 March 2006 (Arts NSW)
|Jurisdiction||New South Wales|
|Headquarters||323 Castlereagh Street, Sydney|
|Parent Agency||Department of Justice|
Arts NSW (ANSW) is an agency of the Government of New South Wales responsible for administering the government's policies that support the arts, artists and the various cultural bodies within the state of New South Wales in Australia. Arts NSW is led by its Executive Director, Mary Darwell, who reports to the Secretary of the Department of Justice, Andrew Cappie-Wood. The agency advises the Minister for the Arts, presently the Hon. Don Harwin MLC, who is ultimately responsible to the Parliament of New South Wales.
The role of an 'arts' minister, overseeing the management and support for all cultural activities in New South Wales, before the early 1970s was an unheard of concept in politics. However, by the early 1970s, various governments in Australia recognised the need for a steering authority for state support for the arts. In response, premier Bob Askin appointed George Freudenstein as the first Minister for Cultural Activities on 11 March 1971. On his appointment Freudenstein requested the establishment of an organisation to enable him to carry out his responsibilities and the Premier agreed. On 13 May 1971 the Ministry of Cultural Activities was established, taking over responsibility for various legislation and bodies that had previously been under the purview of the Department of Education, including the Archives Office of New South Wales, Art Gallery of New South Wales, State Library of New South Wales, Australian Museum, Museum of Applied Arts and Sciences, Sydney Observatory, the Advisory Committee on Cultural Grants, NSW Film Council, and the Sydney Opera House Trust. In the case of the opera house, the Ministry had responsibility for its completion and final official opening on 20 October 1973.
With Freudenstein's departure on 3 January 1975, a new Minister for Culture, Sport and Recreation was appointed and on 6 January 1975, the Ministry of Cultural Activities was replaced by the new Department of Culture, Sport and Recreation. This arrangement lasted until 14 May 1976 when the new Labor Government of Neville Wran transferred the responsibility for cultural activities to the Premier's Department. This became the Cultural Activities Division under the administration of the Premier himself. This situation continued until 1984, when Wran established the Office of the Minister for the Arts within the Premier's Department and commissioned himself with the title of Minister for the Arts.
On 15 June 1988 a Ministry for the Arts independent of the Premier's Department was established. This ministry was abolished on 3 March 2006 and its responsibilities were moved to the new Department of the Arts, Sport and Recreation. Arts NSW became the new dedicated division for the Minister and it transferred to "Communities NSW" in July 2009 and then the "Department of Trade and Investment, Regional Infrastructure and Services" from 4 April 2011. Since the appointment of Troy Grant as the minister in 2014 (who also served as the Minister for Police and Minister for Justice), Arts NSW has been within the Department of Justice.
|Name||Title||Term start||Term end||Time in office||Notes|
|C. G. Meckiff||Secretary of the Ministry of Cultural Activities||1971||1975|
|Under Secretary of the Department of Culture, Sport and Recreation||1975||1976|
|Evan Williams||Director of the Division of Cultural Activities||1976||1984|
|Director, Office of the Minister for the Arts||1984||1988|
|Secretary of the Ministry for the Arts||1988||2001|
|Roger Wilkins||Director-General of the Ministry for the Arts||2001||2006|
|Bob Adby||Director-General, Department of the Arts, Sport and Recreation||2006||2007|
|Peter Loxton (acting)||November 2007||February 2008|
|Carol Mills||February 2008||2009|
|Mary Darwell||Executive Director, Arts NSW||2008||incumbent|
Role and activities
The NSW Government’s arts portfolio is divided into Arts NSW, Screen NSW and the NSW cultural institutions – the Sydney Opera House, the State Library of New South Wales, the Museum of Applied Arts and Sciences, the Art Gallery of New South Wales and the Australian Museum.
The NSW performing arts sector includes 11 of Australia’s major performing arts organisations. These companies are internationally renowned and have a commitment to excellence in performance, working in the fields of dance, theatre, opera, orchestra and chamber music including The Australian Ballet, Australian Brandenburg Orchestra, Australian Chamber Orchestra, Bangarra Dance Theatre, Bell Shakespeare Company, Belvoir, Musica Viva Australia, Opera Australia, Sydney Dance Company, Sydney Symphony Orchestra, and the Sydney Theatre Company.
Arts NSW provides support for major cultural festivals including the Biennale of Sydney, the Sydney Festival, the Sydney Film Festival, and the Sydney Writers' Festival; and some of Australia’s leading visual arts organisations including the Artspace Visual Arts Centre, the Australian Centre for Photography, d/Lux/MediaArts, the Museum of Contemporary Art, and Object: Australian Design Centre.
- "Ministry of Cultural Activities". NSW State Records. NSW Government. Archived from the original on 30 September 2015. Retrieved 18 September 2015.
- "Department of Culture, Sport and Recreation". NSW State Records. NSW Government. Archived from the original on 30 September 2015. Retrieved 18 September 2015.
- "Division of Cultural Activities (1976-1984) Office of the Minister for the Arts (1984-1988)". NSW State Records. NSW Government. Retrieved 29 September 2015.
- "Ministry for the Arts". NSW State Records. NSW Government. Archived from the original on 29 September 2015. Retrieved 18 September 2015.
- "Department of the Arts, Sport and Recreation". NSW State Records. NSW Government. Archived from the original on 29 September 2015. Retrieved 18 September 2015.
- "Arts NSW". NSW State Records. NSW Government. Archived from the original on 29 September 2015. Retrieved 18 September 2015.
- "The Arts in NSW: State cultural institutions". Arts NSW. Government of New South Wales. 2014. Retrieved 13 June 2014.
- "The Arts in NSW: Major performing arts organisations". Arts NSW. Government of New South Wales. 2014. Retrieved 13 June 2014.
- "The Arts in NSW: Major festivals". Arts NSW. Government of New South Wales. 2014. Retrieved 13 June 2014.
- "The Arts in NSW: Visual arts and craft organisations". Arts NSW. Government of New South Wales. 2014. Retrieved 13 June 2014.