I’m enthusiastic about the City’s proposed new governance model for the Recital Hall. After a review of existing operations City staff have recommended that Council set up a new non-profit organisation to manage this important arts venue.
The City Recital Hall has been in operation for 16 years. Originally designed as a hall for chamber music, the Hall has been a great asset for live music as well as other performances and public debates. Although the City takes responsibility for the hall it is currently rented from AMP on a 99 year lease arrangement.
Currently the Recital Hall is run by a commercial facilities management company. A review of the City Recital Hall’s management has shown that the venue is hosting performances approximately 54% of the time. In order to expand the venue’s creative output the City engaged a consultancy to explore new options. These options included direct operation by the City of Sydney and a contract with an existing not-for-profit. It was considered that setting up a new non-profit exclusively for the purpose of managing the venue was the best option.
Establishing a new non-profit will allow the City to set up a specialist governance board specifically for the Recital Hall. While there are costs in establishing a new organisation the City will no longer need to pay regular commercial management fees. This option is preferred over selecting an existing non-profit as it allows the venue a level of independence.
Under these new arrangements the management body will be expected to increase and diversify venue performances whilst remaining financially sustainable. I’m looking forward to following how this issue progresses and hope to see an even more vibrant venue contributing to the City’s arts and culture.