Crown Resorts Chairman, Mr James Packer, announced a proposed $60 million philanthropic contribution to the Sydney/Western Sydney arts community, as part of a joint 10 year commitment from the recently established Crown Resorts Foundation (CRF) and the Packer family.
Mr Packer today pledged $30 million from Crown Resorts as part of its Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) programs and $30 million privately from the Packer family, beginning in the 2014/15 financial year. It has been proposed that the fund will be known as the Crown Resorts Foundation Sydney Arts Fund and that half of the funding will be committed to and spent in Western Sydney.
Distribution of the proposed Crown Resorts Foundation Sydney Arts Fund will include;
$30 million to Sydney art and cultural institutions; Sydney Theatre Company to receive $15 million, Art Gallery of NSW $10 million and $5 million to organisations including the MCA, Bangarra Dance Company, Sydney Symphony Orchestra, Australian Chamber Orchestra, Sydney Dance Company, Sydney Opera House and a number of others.
A further $30 million to Western Sydney Arts; allowing organisations and institutions to apply for
funding and awarded on merit. It is envisaged there will be a mix of CRF funding for capital, art
programs and scholarships for the people of Western Sydney.
The Crown Resorts Foundation Board, chaired by The Hon Helen Coonan, will administer the proposed fund and will receive support and advice from Ms Gretel Packer who was instrumental in developing this initiative. Independent cultural advisers will be appointed from Western Sydney to advise and support the CRF Board in the awarding of Western Sydney grants.
Crown Resorts Chief Executive, Mr Rowen Craigie, outlined the company's future CSR plans:
"Crown has always worked very hard in the charitable and CSR areas. We understand the importance of supporting the communities we operate in and are very excited in regard to the future endeavours of the Crown Resorts Foundation. The proposed Arts Fund will be one element of a larger national philanthropic commitment from Crown that will be announced through the CRF in the first half of 2014."
Speaking on the establishment of the Fund, Mr Packer said: "The people of Sydney have been wonderful to my family and we feel very lucky to live in this community. As a philanthropic contribution, this long term commitment is comparatively modest, but our hope is that the
funding will contribute positively to these cultural institutions and allow them to reach out further, ensuring many more people can access their artistic endeavours."
"I am most excited about providing funding for Western Sydney arts projects. For too long the vast majority of Sydney's population has missed out on this sort of endeavour and many of these organisations have had to exist on the tightest budgets. I know local Western Sydney organisations will make the funds go a long way and touch many people's lives for the better."
"I may not be the most committed art and theatre goer, but I know from my own family how much joy the arts can provide; all Sydneysiders should have access to see the very best art and performances."
Crown Resorts announced the establishment of the CRF in September this year and Crown Resorts has already committed to providing $750,000 to Salvation Army programs in Melbourne, over $70,000 to the recent Salvation Army Bush Fire Appeal and $2 million to the Western Australian Channel Seven Telethon appeal.