Creative Brimbank and BCC logos - No line

Creative Brimbank encapsulates artists and community coming together. We invite everyone to participate and collaborate towards building a vibrant, connected and creative community. Council is dedicated to ensuring the arts are part of everyday life in Brimbank, as well as developing artistic thinking in the community through the work of the Arts & Culture team and beyond. We advocate for the inclusion of arts in the west by bringing quality experiences in performing and visual arts, and delivering an engaging program of creative workshops, festivals and events.

Artist Katherine Gailer jumping in front of Stark Place Mural in Sunshine

Image: Erin Lee

Creative Brimbank primarily covers the work of the Arts and Culture Unit at Brimbank City Council including the Bowery Theatre, Visual Arts in Brimbank, Community Cultural Development (CCD), St Albans Community Centre (STACC) program, Festivals and Events.

See below to learn more about our work:

Bowery Theatre

The Bowery Theatre, located within St Albans Community Centre, is a hub for creative arts and cultural events.

We believe through live performance, artists and the community can come together to boldly create a connected, vibrant and creative community.

The Bowery Theatre is named after the late artist, Leigh Bowery who grew up in Brimbank. Leigh Bowery was one of the most influential international arts figures of the 80s and 90s. A celebrated fixture of the fashion, nightlife and avant-garde scenes in London and New York, he was known for his flamboyant get-ups, larger than life personality and bold performance art. As a creative space we are inspired by his legacy.

The Bowery presents a diverse bi-annual season of theatre, music, dance and children’s programming, including work curated from Australia’s finest performing artists/arts companies, self-produced work that is reflective of the Brimbank community, and performance work made by local artists.

The Bowery plays a vital role in nurturing the local performing arts ecology in Melbourne’s outer western suburbs. Throughout history, Brimbank has experienced many shifts in its cultural landscape, largely brought about by migration. As a result, we seek to support the development of diverse Australian voices, and we champion those artists and their creative expression.

Our audiences come from our local neighbourhoods as well as across greater Melbourne, and for them we endeavour to be an accessible, approachable and welcoming place to experience theatre and live performance.

As a venue for hire, we also facilitate and host numerous commercial and community performing arts events. We work with our hirers to meet their needs as well as their audiences, ensuring a memorable experience for everyone.

The Bowery Theatre respectfully acknowledges the Traditional Custodians of this land, the Wurundjeri people, and pay our respects to Elders past and present.

We support and contribute to the process of reconciliation through the programming of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander artists and communities, and through their creative processes.

Community - CCD and STACC programs

Brimbank is home to an array of diverse arts and cultural activity, including festivals, events, workshops and more! We support artists and the community to develop their ideas, and offers a program of community arts with something for all ages. By coming together to imagine, make, and share, we’re creating a connected, vibrant, and creative community.

At STACC, you can pop in on a Tuesday morning for Toddler Tuesdays - a creative play session for 2-5year olds and Kids Art Lab on Wedesday for primary school-aged children which are both facilitated by our artist friends. Sing in harmony with the Brimbank Multicultural Community Choir on Monday nights. Why not kick the weekend off moving in our One Love Dance Vision workshops? Youth can drop-in to After School Hangs on Thursday afternoons to be part of a creative space, hang out, discuss ideas, and make art. We also offer training programs, to assist you to deliver your own festivals and events or develop your arts practice. A range of partners, like Western Edge Youth Arts, Arts Access, Edmund Rice Community and Refugee Services and Micare run various programs at STACC, including youth theatre workshops, music recording, and an inclusive arts studio. STACC is also home to over fifty community groups, including seniors groups, cultural dance groups, a Koorie Homework Club, faith-based groups, a concert band, and baby ballet.

Community Festivals and events, youth events, and community arts projects occur throughout the year across Brimbank, so keep an eye on the website to stay up to date with new opportunities and what’s on!

More: Cultural Strategy / Festivals and Events Policy and Strategy 2022-2025

Related: Reconciliation Action Plan 2019-2021 / Social Justice Charter

Visual Arts

We aim to cultivate a vibrant and creative Brimbank, making arts and culture a vital part of the lives of the citizens of Brimbank. We achieve this by supporting and valuing artists and engaging the community in arts and cultural activities. The specific offering from the visual arts stream of Creative Brimbank to support our community in this way includes gallery programs, public art and murals, studios program, funding support for activating space through the arts and also our artist’s networking events.

Creative Brimbank offers a range of exhibition spaces across the municipality. These spaces provide different functions and allow for a breadth of experiences for both the artist and audiences alike. Through this program local and emerging artists are given the chance to exhibit their creative works for others to come and enjoy. We also invite renowned professional artists to exhibit through our Brimbank Community and Civic Centre art space. This gives the community the opportunity to see work by such significant artists as John Wolseley, Martin King, Paul Borg and Deborah Williams who have all previously exhibited in the space.

Our ongoing public art and mural program delivers many new works to the municipality every year. Public art connects people and place, offering a common focus and inclusive platform for interpretation and imagination, engagement and identification. Importantly as a highly visible and accessible art form, public art plays an important role in achieving Brimbank City Council’s Vision for Brimbank – ‘vibrant, harmonious and welcoming – a great place to live, work and grow’. Each year we deliver one major new permanent work and at least four new murals. While you can see a selection of these works online the best way to experience the work is to explore the municipality.

Our specialist programs to support and develop local artists in the municipality include our studio program, funding support and the INfuse Artists Network. The studio program supports local arts practitioners by providing them a space to work and develop their art. These spaces are based throughout the municipality and provide a studio at subsidized rates. Entry into the studio program is by application and is only available as vacancies arise. We also provide funding support through the Art Spaces Activation Partnership Funding. This fund for up to $2,000 supports professional arts outcomes, that directly engage with the community and occur in Brimbank. This funding opens up 2-3 times annually dependent on the overall allocation each time.

Our Infuse Artists Network is a program of quarterly events that give the arts community from the western suburbs the opportunity to come together, learn, share and network. Each session differs and often includes either skills or knowledge based workshops or inspiring talks from professional artists. This has included presentations from international sculptor John Kelly, an artist talk and life drawing masterclass from Graeme Drendel, to talks from significant emerging artists such as Kim Anderson, Ash Coates and Ethereal Andy to name but a few. If you are keen to receive further information about these sessions or any of these opportunities please subscribe to our newsletter.

More: Brimbank Public Art Policy and Plan 2018-2023

Creative Brimbank Market Research 2022

In 2022 Creative Brimbank undertook a research project with Studio Binocular to better understand the familiarity and reach of the Creative Brimbank brand, the role it plays in the community, and the programming possibilities it could explore.

The project goals included a focus on the Bowery Theatre as a key venue in the Creative Brimbank portfolio.

Some key findings included:

  • Creative Brimbank has good and regular support from people who are aware of and engage with its activities. However there are opportunities to raise brand awareness and clearly link it to “What’s on in the arts in Brimbank”.
  • Local, community-centred offerings are really desirable and communicating convenience and access is key. Many people in Brimbank and surrounding areas are not choosing between going to a headline event in the CBD over a local show or exhibition.
  • Feeling safe is a significant factor in the choices people make about the locations, venues, events and activities they attend or participate in whether in Brimbank or other areas. It is important for Creative Brimbank to provide all the relevant information to people – to help them feel safe and make an informed decision.
  • There is strong interest and support for music, theatre, film, family-oriented activities and outdoor festivals.
  • Pricing may be a determining factor in event attendance however there are multiple other emotional and rational factors that influence people’s purchase decisions.
  • The data shows that online communications such as social media (Instagram or Facebook posts and digital advertising) and e-newsletters are generally a significant source of information about arts, cultural and entertainment activities. The data shows that event/activity communication that highlights key information and is easy to read and understand is readily shared with family and friends. Consistent naming, and clear descriptions of what the activity is key.

Read Market Research 2022 Report

Brimbank City Council acknowledges the Traditional Custodians of this land, the Wurundjeri people, and pay our respects to Elders past and present.

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