Dear Clover Moore and The City of Sydney Council
I grew up in Annandale as did my grandparents, mother and whole extended family, when it was a working class area and the precincts down near the water was just mangroves and industry, a place where we weren’t allowed to go as children.
Annandale grew and changed slowly. The community I used to know as a child were forced out into the suburbs as the more affluent community decided a quarter acre block wasn’t quite so attractive when it was at the end of a ninety minute commute. It changed, we lost a little bit of our Annandale, but we adapted.
I had stables at my house and a horse. I used to take my horse down to Harold Park when the farrier used to visit. It was open and green and smelled of my favourite smell; horses. It changed and is now a concrete monstrosity the gentle clip clop of hooves replaced by the garish scream of jackhammers, and I suppose we will adapt.
Annandale has always been characterised by an eclectic mix of people, architecture and medium density softened by lots of green space. Its mix helped us to adapt as we continually lost little bits of what was familiar and positive.
Let me tell you what I can no longer adapt to. I am a rate payer and a long time resident of first Annandale and now Camperdown. It is my rates along with other residents, that keep your council going and yet we have no voice. We are ignored and dismissed out of hand.
A couple of examples of this are what is happening at the moment. For many years now, I have walked my dog at Federal Park and often used to look at what was happening at Archway 1 Theatre. From kitsch movie nights, to art workshops and a focal point for the park community. I remember one day, my daughter and I were concerned about a little magpie chick down on the ground near where many dogs pass. Stefan came out, climbed up on the old hockey goals and put the chick back in the tree. There was always a feeling of camaraderie and community when the theatre was there.
Now, all I see down in that area is the ugliness of Balmain Rentals trucks which seem to be reproducing like rabbits and totally monopolising every parking space in the Crescent and now also starting to park in the car park for the park.
I see that a skate park is going to be put in the area where the arches are! I for one, and I know many others feel this is not an appropriate use for that space. A huge swathe of the community will not feel comfortable having people come in from all areas to use a skate park! There is already a skate ramp up near Webbers and sometimes, there is a threatening atmosphere there with SOME of the people who use that space.
So, can you please tell me, as a lifelong resident, and a rate payer, how much more of my Annandale you are going to take away from me in pursuit of concreting the whole world? I don’t want to adapt anymore and I am seriously contemplating a move from my beloved inner city at the end of this year and they are words I never thought I’d say. But hey, I’m sure you don’t care because all the new money is rolling in from the people building the cheek by jowl shoeboxes. So very sad.
Dear Clover Moore,
I am a passionate supporter of theatre and was outraged to read in the local press of the impending plans to re-designate the beautiful space currently occupied by Archway Theatre for use as a skatepark. It seems extremely short-sighted of local Council and politicians to turn their back on the creative arts in this way. In addition to being the home of a thriving theatre company the space houses multiple other arts projects, not to mention an excellent coffee shop.
At the very least is it not possible for the theatre and a skatepark to co-exist? The former appears to occupy only one of the arches beneath the viaduct.
Ultimately it shows Sydney in a very poor light when compared to the trend in other major cities, like London, Paris and New York, to integrate a variety of community and cultural uses within a shared space.
Afternoon M/s Moore
I understand that the Johnstons Creek Parklands master plan does not include the Archway theatre and I believe that the theatre is possibly being moved from their current site.
I use the park quite often and discovered this theatre some time ago and I have been to some of their productions. I thought when I discovered it, that this is one of those wonderful peculiarities of Sydney, a hidden gem, an unexpected theatre that which gives flavour and character to this town. Just like the Chinese temple not that far away from there in Glebe. another unexpected find and I bring both overseas and interstate visitors to the park and to both places and they are amazed and delighted that they exist.
I am asking that you and fellow councilors look beyond the plan and have a future vision of including this theatre in your planning, just like you have given your vision to other
innovative ideas that have enriched Sydney, I believe that this theatre will delight and enhance the area’s visitors
with kind regards
The Archway 1 Theatre Company is truly changing theatre for the better. Not only is it run by talented, gifted, caring, generous and inspiring people, but the space that they call home is incredibly beautiful. It’s interior can be molded into anything they so desire and it is placed perfectly in a sunny park which adds to the overall community feel that they have. Rachel and Stefan are more than welcoming. As an actor who has performed on their stage, I can say without a doubt that it has been one of the best experiences I have had in Australia. I vow never to miss a show when I am in town as they bring excellence to everything they put on. You feel comfortable when you walk in the space, whoever you may be, an actor, audience member, supporter, or someone who has stumbled across their entrance and have taken a look inside.
I give all my support to Rachel and Stefan and their positive, creative and friendly attitude they bring to Archway 1 Theatre as well as their vegan coffee, which is beyond delicious! They are wonderful people with incredible things in mind for not only the theatre, but the community that surrounds them. Their values are nothing but sincere and for the greater good and I wish all the best for long and successful future!”
With the restoration and opening of the old East London train line in London in 5 years ago, came the regeneration of a fascinating and previously derelict stretch of old brick archways. The archways extend from Shoreditch through to Haggerston and Dalston. When my husband, son and I left London to come home in 2010, the archways there were still derelict, boarded up and had a few random businesses scattered through, like a scrap car yard surrounded by wire and guarded by a fierce dog.
When we returned for a visit 4 years later we were shocked and delighted to see a very different stretch along the train line. Boards have been pulled down from brick archways and now an Artisan bakery sits alongside an aquarium shop and restaurant. Not far away, the Arcola theater has created it’s own intimate space that is an absolute delight to go to.
When my husband and I came across the Archway theater on Chapman Road we were grinning ear to ear as we realised that we had a theater just like this magic space in London, just moments from where we live in Sydney.
I think Hackney City Council in East London is so good at blending their old and new – they re-purpose their industrial areas and sit it alongside glass buildings – much like areas of Pyrmont have done with the old wharves.
I recognise the value and need to create sports and recreation spaces in the inner west. I live in Rozelle and we have two small boys who are very active. I just question whether this is the best use of this piece of historic architecture. I think if we looked to the London example above, the redevelopment of the archways could sit seamlessly next to the fabulous newly restored Rozelle tramshed development and create an extended hub and community pulse right through into the park. Skateparks and reaction centres could then be located in other warehouses or industrial areas nearby. There is always a place for these recreation centres, I just think that the archways isn’t this place.
I think this discussion goes beyond protecting the Archway Theatre and cafe. I think it’s about the carefully considered future use of these historic archways, and the possibility that we have to rehouse the theatre and cafe in amongst a vibrant mix of small businesses and community organisations, set in amongst the historic archways.
Many thanks for listening and please feel free to contact me,
Change Manager | Australian Community Media | Fairfax Media Limited
Dear Lord Mayor Clover Moore and other City of Sydney Councillors
The additions to the park at Glebe Point are a great idea especially as it will rid the area of the eyesores along The Crescent even tho’ a lot of us will miss the smash repairer.
Forest Lodge/Annandale residents are obsessed with having “everything good and necessary” at our doorsteps. A lot of us walk our dogs daily and end up at the (dog) beach opposite the timber yard and often bemoan the fact that unlike our Glebe neighbours we do not have a coffee outlet. Sometimes Blackwattle Cafe is too far to walk except for a luncheon arrangement.
We are also of the opinion that the Archway Theatre is a very welcome addition to this inner west enclave and is in keeping with the past ambience of the Glebe area…….as a lot of us are baby boomers it also resonates with memories of our student days. And, the local “yummy mummies” love the availability of refreshment when at the kids’ playground aka “the sand park”.
The addition of the coffee hutch sent most of us into spasms of delight……great coffee and the best muffins this muffin hater has tasted.
So bearing in mind all the above it would seem to us that retention of the Archway Theatre and the coffee outlet would only require minor alterations to the plans and a facelift.
Keep the Archway!!
For 23 local residents
Dear Lord Mayor Clover Moore
We were horrified to discover the current plans to abolish the community theatre in Bicentennial Park Glebe. Not only has it provided the community with enjoyable theatrical entertainment but has contributed to a cultural atmosphere which lifts the park environs. So many day trippers and tourists have commented to us in envious tones of what at wonderful thing it is,
Please please don’t distroy this wonderful adjunct to our cultural life.
Andy Morris and Lynne Derrick
Clover and Robyn,
I would like to express my opposition to the forthcoming closure of the Archway Theatre and cafe on Chapman Road, Annandale.
These are excellent community resources that Sydney is just dying out for, yet it appears that they are about to be shut down, just because they don’t fit into the Johnstons Creek Parklands masterplan.
Surely the plan can be flexible enough to take into account changing circumstances and succesful community resources, that come along since the plan was put together?
In support of the Archway 1 Theatre, Annandale, Sydney
Dear Lord Mayor, Deputy Lord Mayor, Councillors and CEO of the City of Sydney Council,
I write in support of the continuing presence of the Archway 1 Theatre in its current location under the Railway arches in Bicentennial Park, Annandale.
Diversity. It’s important, and though things be diverse they need not be mutually exclusive. Rather, the newer art forms and cultures can and should exist with more established art forms. The proposal for a new skating area in Bicentennial Park Annandale, need not be exclusive nor to the detriment of the existing and widely valued theatre company, currently in residence under the Railway arches. If anyone can find a way to integrate what may be perceived as cultural polar opposites, into art theory and more importantly cultural recognition and art practice it will be Rachel Jordan from Archway1 Theatre.
This theatre company started from scratch three years ago. Along the way the drive and determination of Rachel has seen this small 60 seat venue leap from strength to strength, garnering much local and wider support along the way. If we ask some basic questions we find many positives; Is a 60 seat theatre able to quickly adapt to current trends in the world of theatre? Is this theatre willing to promote new work from new and or experimental playwrights? Does Archway1 actively encourage such works, and in doing so give a voice to artists wishing to explore emerging topics, thinking and ideas in the wider society? Is there a place for a low cost, highly adaptive, effective and professionally run small theatre in Sydney’s Inner West? And the answers are: Of course there is.
From Archways humble beginnings the local community and others from farther afield have rallied to this worthy enterprise. The commitment to theatre and community from the curators, managers and administrators of Archway 1 is exemplary, and such dedication to culture, art and theatre would be hard to match or compare. Therefore I entreat and urge the Councillors and managers of the City of Sydney to favourably consider the offering of support, not only in terms of preserving Archways current location and amenity, but also in terms of cultural and artistic diversity. I am sure that with goodwill, imagination, and the desire to promote better ways of living within communities, the City of Sydney can show support and contribute to something both necessary and worthwhile.
Furthermore I would ask that the City of Sydney council actively offer any and all support it can to this fledgling enterprise. There is a great deal of potential here, and such qualities as I have mentioned above, and as exemplified by the Administrators and curators of the Archway 1 Theatre must and should be encouraged and supported.
Playwright, author, filmmaker, performer, artist, theatre practitioner
Dear Lord Mayor Clover Moore and other City of Sydney Councillors
I would like to lobby in support of the Archway Theatre in Bicentennial Park Glebe. This small arts venue is a brilliant cultural facility for the local area.
I attend productions at the theatre regularly and enjoy the chance to experience and support productions in my own neighbourhood.
With theatre, art exhibitions, art, dance and drama classes, theatrical training in staging and acting, workshops, artist talks and community events, the range of activities carried out at the venue is fantastic and a wonderful resource for the community.
I am excited by the proposed upgrade of the Archways, but saddened by the prospect that the Archway Theatre may in fact close.
Please support the continued existence of this important local cultural gem.
As a long time resident of Glebe and employee of Sydney Theatre Company I am writing to express my deep sadness over the threat to The Archway Theatre..
I have been a long time patron at The Archway 1 for shows and coffee and helping out
I support local independent theatre companies.
Where is the vision and creative thought of our politicians. The Archway is similar to what the community of New York and Paris fought so hard to save and have created the Highline in both cities which have created a tourist mecca. The Archway is a unique and wonderful venue for our performing arts and should without question be preserved.
City of Sydney
I understand that Rachel Jordan and Stefan von Reiche, Directors of The Archetype Gallery are applying to City of Sydney Council to continue in Archway 1 at Bicentennial/Jubilee Park in Annandale/Glebe on a legitimate and permanent basis having already been tenants in the space for the past 8 years. I also understand that they intend to open the space to the public for art exhibitions and access for local artists as an arts studio.
This past 8 year the space has been legitimately rented and used as studio and hub for creativity and I have personally attended events at the studio and have worked with both Stefan and Rachel on numerous projects over the past several years through the Creative Arts Alliance and the Archetype Gallery.
Rachel and Stefan have long been actively working and supporting creativity and arts development in Sydney through their ‘Hi Rise Centre for the Arts,’ ‘The Archetype Gallery,’ and ‘The Creative Arts Alliance Sydney’ as well as their own individual careers in the creative arts, and as history demonstrates, they are highly capable to manage this council space as an arts related space. They have worked tirelessly to maintain this Archway arts space and have always shared access with creative individuals and groups who needed space for their creative work, to hold photo shoots, art talks, film shoots, painting, drawing, sculpting etc. as well as holding workshops and forums.
This space endeavours to give exposure to local artists, to fosters and promote art, artists and creative projects in Sydney and I believe that Stefan and Rachel are most suitable to continue to manage this space. They are responsible, trustworthy and reliable people and pro-active members of a vital arts community in Sydney.
If you have any questions please do not hesitate to contact me.
Artist │Writer │Coach
To Whom It May Concern
I have known Stefan for a long time in his capacity as an artist, performer, and a poet. He has had many exhibitions in the MADD Gallery and have had a lasting impact as a role model and an inspiration to a lot of young people in our country. Some of his exhibitions include “Of Me and You” (metal sculptures and [paintings), “Shadow Faces” (paintings and constructions) Apart from performances in the MADD Gallery that he conducted for children such as an interpretation of Maurice Sendak’s “Where the Wild Things Are”, he has performed with the well known New Zealand Dance Theatre group “MAU” and have conducted numerous poetry readings under the “Mango” tree at the MADD Gallery. He also had a regular Saturday painting class with children at the MADD Gallery.
Stefan is well known as a Pacific artist and is mentioned in a lot of articles and magazines such as the Pacific Asia Art magazine (date).
He has chosen to express in Australia where he feels the climate is conducive with his contemporary journey. His partner Rachel is an artist in her own right (performer and dancer) and is very supportive of Stefan’s ideas and development because she can see the educational potential and purpose of such a venture for the public that appreciates creativity.
Stefan is a very prolific multifaceted artist and expresses in a very individualistic way using as many forms and media that is available to him. He is very passionate about his work and whatever he proposes to do will be good and beneficial for society at large.
Momoe Malietoa von Reiche