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Bayside Arts, Culture and Libraries Strategy 2023-2027

People gathered and sitting in the gardens outside of Brighton Library to watch Shakespeare in the Gardens
Essential Theatre, As You Like It by William Shakespeare, 13 February 2022, Brighton Cultural Precinct.

Bayside City Council seeks to nurture creativity, promote community wellbeing, and support lifelong learning by increasing community engagement with local arts and culture, and library services.

The Bayside Arts, Culture and Libraries Strategy 2023–2027 sets a vision and direction for our community. It seeks to amplify the collective impact of these services by aligning them to the same strategic priorities and through supporting greater coordination, knowledge sharing and collaboration.

The Bayside Arts, Culture and Libraries Strategy 2023-2027 has been developed in close consultation with the local community, partners, and stakeholders.


Implementation of the Strategy will be driven by two Action Plans which will be delivered with and through key internal and external stakeholders. These Action Plans will outline the projects and initiatives that the arts and culture, and libraries teams will deliver to move toward the realisation of the 2050 Community Vision for Bayside. Progress against the Action Plans will be monitored, with annual reports made to Council and the community.

View the Bayside Arts, Culture and Libraries Strategy 2023-2027


Key findings from community consultation

Arts and Culture

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73% of respondents were over the age of 50.

70% of respondents were female.
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The most common arts or cultural activities that residents have participated in were Bayside Gallery exhibitions and cultural events.
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There was continued interest in these activities with 68% of respondents expressing an interest in attending a Bayside Gallery exhibit and 85% in attending a cultural event.
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71% of respondents participated in art or cultural activity in Bayside in the last three years.
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Roughly half of the respondents felt connected to Bayside’s representation of arts and culture while 35% felt minimally connected and 10% did not feel represented or included at all.
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Gallery visitors reported high levels of satisfaction with the Gallery with over 80% of users indicating that they were very satisfied.


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75% of library users are over the age of 50.

The majority of library users are not employed full-time and 47% are retired.

90% of library users speak English as a first language and do not speak a second language at home.
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In the last year, 88% of library users visited the library to borrow books or magazines, 67% to search the catalogue or reserve an item and 63% to ask the library staff for help.
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Library users reported high levels of satisfaction with the library service with 55% of users indicating that they were very satisfied.
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Most users visit the library at least every 2–4 weeks, with 19% attending more than once a week.
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82% of library users visit the library by themselves.

89% of people felt that the library welcomes people from all walks of life.
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More than half of respondents felt the library was very important to them personally, and to their community.


Bayside Arts, Culture and Library Goals

Arts, Culture and Library services in Bayside provide residents the opportunity to establish connection within the community, which has a positive effect on physical health and mental and emotional wellbeing. Through this goal, we aim to nurture a sense of belonging, and an improved quality of life by supporting individuals to establish an overall feeling of self-worth, wonder and purpose when they visit and engage with our spaces.

We will improve accessibility and create safe spaces that provide our community with the opportunity to develop greater independence, social connectedness, and intergenerational interactions. We aim to create cultural spaces that allow diverse and changing populations to continue to establish their identity, which can foster improved learning and health, increased tolerance, and opportunities to come together with others.

Creativity stimulates the human mind and helps people understand the world, serve a purpose, and develop a sense of self-identity. 71 per cent of all survey respondents during our community consultation had engaged in an art or cultural activity over the past three years, showing there is a need for dedicated spaces and environments that stimulate imaginative thinking and new knowledge creation.

We aspire to champion innovation in Bayside through engaging community members in problem-solving, documenting and reacting to societal change, and discovering new opportunities for artistic growth and prosperity. Through establishing a creative and innovative network of people and places, our community can meaningfully engage with the world around them and experience enjoyment and enrichment in their lives.

Education and knowledge creation are powerful agents of change, and are proven to increase health, enhance livelihoods, and create more stable communities. We strive to support residents to access relevant, accurate and engaging information through using our libraries, attending gallery exhibitions, and participating in public programs and events. It is recognised that informed and engaged residents have higher levels of productivity, health, and civic engagement, which is why we aim to offer learning opportunities that allow residents to expand their knowledge, increase their independence, and overall sense of wellbeing. With an ageing population in Bayside, it is imperative that residents are active in increasing brain health, discovering new interests, and keeping up to date with emerging technologies. By activating Bayside’s cultural and community programs and collections, residents can engage in lifelong learning, whilst being involved in pursuits that contribute to feelings of competency, self-fulfilment, and personal development.