A tale of two cultures

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  • Published 20090303
  • ISBN: 9780733323942
  • Extent: 256 pp
  • Paperback (234 x 153mm)

UNDERSTANDING OF ART can no longer be limited – as it often appears to be in the popular imagination – to something in a frame on a wall, or a piece of sculpture. Contemporary artists offer vaster, more engaged and more venturous resources than this. As part of its mission to address the stereotypes that exist about contemporary art and its audience – particularly the notion that contemporary art is elitist – the Museum of Contemporary Art in Sydney (MCA) has considered very seriously the problem of how to engage with new audiences and identified improving connections with Western Sydney as an important priority.

In 2000, the museum formed a partnership with Blacktown Festival, running buses to the Sydney Biennale for local people. As a result, the Mayor of Blacktown became a strong advocate for the MCA. In turn, the museum supported the establishment of Blacktown’s contemporary gallery, which continues to flourish. Access to the MCA became free in 2000 and a major press campaign encouraged people who had never been to a contemporary gallery before to come. In 2001, 38 per cent of those who came were first-time visitors. In 2007, the MCA was named the city’s favourite museum in a survey conducted by the Sydney Chamber of Commerce.

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About the author

Elizabeth Ann Macgregor

Scottish born Elizabeth Ann Macgregor has had a career as colourful as her famous wardrobe, beginning as Curator/Driver of the Scottish Arts Council's Travelling...

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