Tuesday, 17 January 2012

Parramatta. Festival off to a great start

The Sydney Festival's ambitious push into the western suburbs is off to a solid start, with thousands braving the rain to attend opening night of the inaugural Sydney Festival Parramatta, according to The Sydney Morning Herald.

Parramatta Lord Mayor, Lorraine Wearne, said arts audiences in the west had been neglected, lacking the facilities and events available in central Sydney. ''There has been a perception about the socio-economic dynamic that lives in the west and there has been an element of elitism in all that, especially in eastern Sydney “

It's elitist to assume [arts facilities and cultural events] are only there for the centre of Sydney and that the many millions who live further out to the west don't have the same right to that kind of enjoyment,”she said.

Cr Wearne said the festival's Parramatta programming would prove that ''people in the west will support good, worthwhile entertainment in their own area. There is an enormous arts and cultural base in Parramatta.''

Festival director, Lindy Hume, said: ''It was very successful, both artistically and in terms of community interest,'' Hume said. ''If we are genuine about reflecting Sydney as it is rather than as it is perceived, we need to look to the growth areas of Sydney … In terms of this deepening of engagement [with the west], the time has come for everyone to step up to the plate.''



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