Creativity contributes much to our society, culture and public spaces, so it’s great to see the Central Coast’s cultural and arts community growing in leaps and bounds.
We have some of Australia’s leading professional artists, writers and performers living right here who are involved in so many creative projects including dance, theatre, music, film-making, visual arts and performance poetry to name a few. It’s time to showcase the fantastic creative things they do!
These creative Coasties and that artistic energy is translating into new collaborations, art development programs and new arts facilities.
Here’s a taste of what’s on offer.
With a reputation as one of Australia's most successful regional theatres, Laycock Street Community Theatre is committed to enhancing the social and cultural environment of the Central Coast and boasts a rich program of comedians, singers, dance and musicals both from touring productions and local performances. The main tiered-seating auditorium seats 392, and is available for hire by theatre and dance companies, community groups, business and individuals. The Don Craig Room provides an ideal space for intimate concerts, business meetings, and presentations, seating up to 100.
If you are into discovering cool local artists, take a peek into The Entrance Art Gallery. It has a punchy exhibition program that showcases local talent as well as national and international artists. The Gallery encourages exploration and collaboration of new and old art forms and provides another great hub for the Central Coast arts and culture scene, well worth a visit.
Another quaint local gallery is the Federation Gallery run by the Toukley and District Art Society. You will find on exhibit paintings in water colour, oil, acrylic and pastel, along with hand painted porcelain and silk, craftworks and hand painted cards for all occasions. The gallery and art centre is also the tourist information centre for the area, where maps and local tourist information is available. The Gallery is open from Tuesday to Sunday 10am – 4pm. Opening hours may change on weekends during the winter.
Located on the shores of Caroline Bay in East Gosford, the Gosford Regional Gallery is one of the Central Coast’s leading tourist attractions, providing an important cultural and educational resources for the community and a great family attraction.
The galery incorporates three exhibition spaces, the Edogawa Commemorative Garden, a gallery shop and onsite café. The adjacent art centre is available for hire and supports the practice of local artists with art classes, meeting spaces and the Community Gallery.
The gallery’s hosts a diverse program of local, national and international exhibitions with many significant touring exhibitions. The gallery is open daily and admission is free.
Symphony Central Coast is the third largest regional orchestra in NSW and is one of the Coast's most valued and prized cultural assets, proving that the presence of a thriving symphony orchestra is a reflection of the pride in cultural awareness and support by the Central Coast community.
Formed from local community orchestras in 1999 with support from the Central Coast Conservatorium of Music, Symphony Central Coast has grown into a full-size symphony orchestra, presenting outstanding musical programs of orchestral and choral masterworks to the Central Coast community.
The flagship activities of the SCC are the annual subscription series of four concerts featuring the best orchestral works by leading composers and performers. The orchestra is also very active in wider community engagement, performing at a variety of venues and with other community groups. Artistic Director and Conductor Dr Steven Stanke and the SCC are committed to entertain and inspire through musical excellence.
The Central Coast is home to a wide variety of arts and cultural events. Music festivals include The Central Coast Country Music Festival, Mountain Sounds Festival and Brackets & Jam North, cultural festivals such as Gathering of the Clans in Toukley, food festivals such as the Central Coast Craft Beer and Cider Festival, cultural events such as Harmony Day and so much more.
Surrounded by beautiful scenery, fresh coastal air, lush wooded valleys and picturesque villages, the Central Coast’s 5 Lands Art Studios Trail is made up of some of the coast’s finest artists. Travel a beautiful trail from the bush to the beach to visit artists in their working studios.
Voted one of the top five Central Coast experiences and including over 20 Central Coast Artists, the 5 Lands Art Studios trail is a unique opportunity for art lovers to meet artists in their own space, talk to them about their practice and experience the process of making visual art in a variety of forms. The trail is not only an educational experience but also a great idea for a weekend getaway just over an hour from Sydney.
On open studio weekends, look for the orange flags on display at all the open studios and signs leading the way. See their Facebook page.
This artists' cooperative is a vibrant community hub where Central Coast visual artists can work, network and contribute to the wider community. Located in Mann Street East Gosford, it includes artists' studios, a workplace and teaching space and a commercial gallery. The workshop and gallery are also available for hire to non-members via application. The Co-op runs regular classes and workshops.
The Central Coast also has a growing multicultural community, with 12 percent of residents born overseas*. The most common languages other than English spoken at home being: Italian, Spanish, Filipino/Tagalog, Greek, German, and Cantonese. This cultural diversity only helps to enhance the richness to life on The Central Coast. * 2011 Census figures
Photospace Projects celebrates diversity and inclusiveness through the art of photography. The project provides opportunities to introduce photographic skills to local young people while recording inter-generational stories and addressing racial stereotypes. Year 11 students at Northlakes High School were given the opportunity to meet people from a variety of different multicultural backgrounds. During photography workshops, migrant and asylum seeker stories were explored through the medium of portraiture. Images were then chosen and printed to create temporary public murals. This project was funded by Central Coast Council and due to its success a subsequent series became part of the Exposure Photographic Prize in 2017.