New England Regional Art Museum Director Rachael Parsons, left, and Northern Tablelands MP Adam Marshall discuss the funding windfall.
Monday, 28 September 2020
FROM the preservation of the nationally significant Hinton Collection to the staging of unique art exhibitions, the New England Regional Art Museum (NERAM) is the jewel in the region’s cultural crown, according to Northern Tablelands MP Adam Marshall, who today announced a $320,000 State Government funding boost to continue its important work.
Mr Marshall said NERAM would receive $80,000 per annum for the next four years to support its day-to-day operations.
“This is wonderful and timely news for NERAM and Armidale, especially with the difficult year so far for the arts,” Mr Marshall said.
“Like many local cultural facilities, NERAM closed during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, placing considerable financial pressure on the organisation which relies on donations from visiting patrons.
“This funding gives NERAM the breathing room it needs to deliver its dynamic cultural program that includes some 30 exhibitions, art classes, workshops, Creative Learning and NERAM Nights events.
“Knowing this money is coming every 12 months will allow NERAM to plan for the long term, helping it target traveling and high-profile exhibitions which will attract crowds and increase its revenue.”
NERAM Director Rachael Parsons said as a tourist destination, the museum has a role to play in rebuilding Armidale’s visitor economy post COVID-19.
“Annually, 40,000 people walk through the doors of NERAM, many of those travelling from outside of the region,” Ms Parsons said.
“While COVID-19 has posed some challenges to the way we operate, overall the restrictions have done little to dampen people’s enthusiasm for the experience NERAM provides.
“With more than 5,000 works of historical, modern and contemporary art NERAM is an established institution, which I think will continue to draw large numbers of people to stay and spend in Armidale.
“Once again NERAM, and its 100 volunteers and 200 members, thank Adam and the State Government for the ongoing support.”
Ms Parsons also encouraged local hospitality professionals to consider taking on the lease of NERAM’s popular onsite café.
“We are really excited about what the future holds for NERAM and a large part of that comes from the renovations which have taken place to the café,” she said.
“With a newly renovated kitchen and internal dining area, outdoor courtyard and an exclusive partnership with NERAM to cater museum events and function, the NERAM café has infinite potential for an exciting entrepreneur.
“We want the café to become part of the visitor experience and so I urge innovative local foodies who might be interested to make contact with us and put forward their vision.”