Greens pledge $7 million for Gertrude Contemporary to secure permanent home in Northcote


The Victorian Greens have pledged to provide up to $7 million dollars to Victoria’s oldest contemporary arts organisation – Gertrude Contemporary – so it can secure a permanent home in the Northcote electorate.

While the non-profit gallery and studio space currently rents commercial space on High Street in Preston, there are fears it will be forced out by gentrification when its lease runs out.

Purchasing its current High Street space or using the funds to buy another suitable building in Northcote would enable Gertrude to continue supporting local artists. It would also allow Gertrude to continue and expand its community outreach which includes running programs to help fine arts secondary students in Northcote expand their practice. 

The arts play a key role in Victoria’s economy. They contribute seven per cent of our total economy and nine per cent of the Victorian workforce is employed in creative industries. 

Yet the arts and artists are chronically underfunded. Arts organisations struggle with funding uncertainties, and artists are leaving the sector in droves because it’s too hard to make ends meet. 

The Greens are taking a bold arts policy heading into the November state election.

This includes:

  • A Living Wage for Victorian Artists pilot program to give artists a stable foundation to develop, create and innovate.
  • A Sick Pay for the Arts scheme, to give artists and arts workers the same rights as other casual and contract workers.
  • A $1 billion dollar Secure Art Fund for small and medium arts organisations to provide the ongoing funding they need to support artists and deliver the arts projects and events we all love.
  • A funding package of $100 million per year for new festivals, with a focus on bringing arts events back into the inner city.

The pandemic has weighed heavily on the arts and artists struggling to make ends meet with little to no support from governments.

It’s time to treat the arts as a public good, matched by public funding.

Quotes attributable to Victorian Greens Northcote candidate, Campbell Gome: 

“Here in Victoria the arts contribute so much, yet so many artists are left struggling by governments unwilling to properly support them.

“It’s time to treat the arts as a public good, matched by public funding.

“Gertrude Contemporary is an iconic arts space in the Northcote electorate and it would be devastating if we lost it because it didn’t have enough funding for a permanent home.”

Quotes attributable to Deputy Leader of the Victorian Greens, Ellen Sandell MP: 

“Arts and culture is central to what makes Melbourne great, and we need to make sure the next Victorian Government invests in the arts properly.

“During COVID, the arts were decimated. We need to value the arts much more than governments currently do.

“With more Greens in Parliament we can push the next Government to make sure that all kinds of artists are supported to create the projects and events that make Melbourne iconic."