One of the coolest parts of Melbourne’s coronavirus recovery involves filling 40 of the city’s laneways with music, art and light installations, just in time for summer.
The idea is intended to support local artists (it’ll employ at least 156 people in creative industries) and encourage people to head back into the CBD when it’s safe to do so.
“The six-month project will create a connected network of laneways across Melbourne with their own stories, visuals and acoustic designs, showcasing Melbourne’s creative culture and unlocking the previously hidden potential of some of the city’s lesser-known laneways,” a City of Melbourne spokesperson said in a statement.
The massive project – the largest laneway revitalisation in the city’s history – is backed by $7.5 million in funding from the state government and $1.4 million from the City of Melbourne council.
“There’s an enormous sense of excitement, frustration and a bit of pent up energy. We’ll be getting into those laneways as soon as we can,” the project’s executive producer Lachlan MacDowall told The Age.
Victorian Creative Industries Minister Martin Foley added the project would allow people from the arts to “use their talents to create a legacy for the city that will be enjoyed by Melbourne’s residents, workers and visitors for years to come.”
Considering the memories we’re all going to take with us out of 2020, it’s nice to have some kind of positive legacy of this year from hell.
The first project will be a flouro light installation in Westwood Place, right by the Salvation Army’s Bourke Street headquarters. It’s being designed by ad agency Ogilvy Australia and Sydney art studio Vandal.
Other iconic laneways on the list include Kirks Lane, Cloverlid Place, Langs Lane and Equitable Place. The full list includes lanes all over the CBD, North Melbourne and Carlton.
If you’re keen to get involved in the makeover, you can apply at Working for Victoria.