Once an industrial area, the inner Melbourne suburb of Southbank is now one of Victoria’s fastest growing areas and is home to one of the highest concentrations of arts organisations in the world. Accordingly, the cluster of arts organisations within Southbank, which stretches from the Yarra River through to the end of Sturt Street, has earned the title of the Melbourne Arts Precinct.
As members of the GCDN, the Melbourne Arts Precinct is currently represented by Arts Centre Melbourne and the Melbourne Recital Centre.
The Melbourne Arts Precinct also includes the National Gallery of Victoria, the Australian Ballet and The Australian Ballet School, Melbourne Symphony Orchestra, Victorian College of the Arts (VCA), Melbourne Theatre Company, Chunky Move, Australian Centre for Contemporary Art, and Malthouse Theatre. Beyond these large cultural institutions, the precinct, located next to the Spire, Melbourne’s iconic monument, also includes a plethora of smaller theatres, galleries, and restaurants.
For nearly 30 years, Arts Centre Melbourne has played a leading role in showcasing the best local and international performing arts. They are host and partner to the national and state music, opera, theatre and dance companies, together with local companies, festivals and a multitude of commercial partners. The Centre produces over 4,000 shows annually reaching upwards of 2.7 million people. Creative Victoria, a division of the Department of Economic Development, Jobs, Transport, and Resources, serves as administrator of the Centre and has a core purpose to enrich the lives of Victorians culturally, educationally, socially, and economically. By making Melbourne more creative, making the arts more accessible, and presenting a range of works to inspire and engage the public, Arts Centre Melbourne seeks to enrich the lives of residents and visitors alike.
Adjacent to Arts Centre Melbourne is the Melbourne Recital Centre, an acclaimed, state of the art performance hall that showcases the world’s best music, artists, and ensembles. Since 2009, the Melbourne Recital Centre has produced hundreds of shows annually, focusing on a wide array of world class music. The building contains two performances spaces – Elisabeth Murdoch Hall, a 1,000 seat venue, and the Primrose Potter Salon, a 150 seat intimate performance space. The stunning design of the building is complemented by the equally impressive acoustics that make the Melbourne Recital Hall one of the best places to hear music of all kinds.