Arts for All Appeal

Sit back and delve into Arts Centre Melbourne stories with artist interviews, behind-the-scenes articles, iconic moments and more.

Archie Roach - an older, bald man wearing a black suit jacket, black jeans, a red vest, a patterened t-shirt and a necklace in the colours of Indigenous Australia. He is sitting onstage in front of a mic on a stand, one hand on his knee and the other holding the hem of his t-shirt. Behind him to the right is a man who is standing and holding a possum skin cloak. Behind him to the left is a man sitting down playing the double-bass. There are branches of gum, speakers, , lights and a video display showing a deep orange in the background.

Signs of Inspiration, Resilience and Presence

"Get up! Stand up! Show up!" – Isabelle Oderberg uncovers photographers Tiffany Garvie and Jacinta Keefe’s strong connection to this year’s NAIDOC Week theme and how it is represented through their work.

Read Signs of Inspiration, Resilience and Presence

Kutcha Edwards, an older, bald man wearing a maroon shirt and a dark blue suit jacket, performs onstage. He is singing into a mic held in one hand and the other is stretched out. The stage is dark and lit slightly pink.

New Direction Paved In Circles

Exploring the spirit and soul of Uncle Kutcha Edward’s career, Monique Grbec discovers the musician’s latest record, Circling Time is one of the most vivid and important releases to date.

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Memorabilia related to The Wiggles, displayed in a glass cabinet in the Australian Music Vault. Items include early CDs, Captain Feathersword's sword, Jeff Fatt's purple skivvy, and a Maton guitar painted in purple, red, blue and yellow and signed by The Wiggles.

Wiggling Their Way to Music History

Iconic children's group The Wiggles are being celebrated in the Australian Music Vault after winning the 2022 Ted Albert Award.

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Two people, seen from behind, stand on the hill at Sidney Myer Music Bowl looking at a large inflatable sculpture that looks a little like an octopus with a single eye. The sculpture has a red bulbous 'body' and orange legs. The Bowl's shell is lit blue in the background.

Where the wild things are

Get lost, go deep and shake loose in a surge of art, music, performance and ceremony. Rising takes over Melbourne nights this winter.

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Paradise Lost, Paradise Found

Take a journey through Sidney Nolan’s Paradise Garden, from concept to its placement today.

Earning their chomps The Teethers

Cutting their teeth alongside national acts Dune Rats, Beddy Rays, and Teen Jesus and the Jean Teasers – The Teethers are chomping at the bit to take to the big stage.

Building the Bowl

Explore stories and historical images giving a fascinating insight into the daring and skilled construction of the Sidney Myer Music Bowl.

Carols by Candlelight through the years

Carols, candles and connections with loved ones. Take a festive trip down memory lane to revisit the history of one Melbourne’s proudest holiday traditions.

Wilma Farrow – arts lover for life

The lasting legacy of a former Arts Centre Melbourne tour guide and lifelong arts-lover.

Opening the Bowl

The opening of the Sidney Myer Music Bowl on 12 February 1959 was a landmark in Melbourne’s history.

Big dreams for Alter State

Foundation Artists Joshua Pether, Rodney Bell and Carly Findlay OAM discuss the start and the future of Arts Centre Melbourne and Arts Access Victoria’s bold new project: Alter State.

Together Experiences – Thomas' Story

From his rural home in Swan Hill, Thomas dreamed of working at a professional theatre. His dream came true.

A party to wake Sleeping Beauty – our opening night anniversary

The night was the culmination of more than 40 years of planning, advocacy, construction and artistic endeavour.

Bell Shakespeare In Focus

As Arts Centre Melbourne prepares to welcome Bell Shakespeare back into our theatres in 2022, we revisit some of the company’s striking costumes from the Australian Performing Arts Collection.

Celebrating The Production Company

For 21 years, The Production Company has been an important part of the performing arts community and a valued presenter at Arts Centre Melbourne.

Ossie and Friends

Celebrating 50 years since Ossie Ostrich appeared on Hey Hey It’s Saturday, we shine a light on an icon of Australian entertainment and explore an artform that has brought laughter and wonder to generations of audiences.

Together Experiences – Laurens Story

Lauren Hayes believes everyone should be able to experience the wonder of the performing arts. We agree.

Louis Kahan: A Celebrated Life in Art and Design

Discover the life and career of Louis Kahan AO, as curator Dr Steven Tonkin explores Arts Centre Melbourne’s rich collection of artworks and designs by the celebrated artist.

Together Experiences – Stephanie’s Story

Stephanie had a lifelong dream to create a work exploring the complex unison and wild individuality of humans. It came true.

Paint Your Wagon

Read about our latest acquisition – a piece of Hollywood history designed by John Truscott, the designer of Arts Centre Melbourne’s interiors.

Caring for our Public Art Collection

Watch as our Collections team explain how we care for the beautiful artworks from our Public Art Collection.

The Dressing Room

The dressing room is no ordinary place – enter the world of the performing arts through a timeless collection of photographs of this sacred space.

Virtual Sunday Market

While the physical stalls of our Sunday Markets may be temporarily closed, you can shop a great selection of artisan goods online and support our independent creatives.

Unstaged and digital

Read about how our Broadcast & Digital team flexed their multimedia skills by creating a new video series called Unstaged.

Highways of Hope

Watch an inspiring video series from our music community who, in the face of challenges and hardship, found music to lift their spirts.

John Olsen: A Celebration of Opera

Read about the creative intersections between the visual and performing arts, between opera and the paintings commissioned by renowned Australian artist, John Olsen.

NAIDOC artists discuss climate and Country

The 2021 NAIDOC theme ‘Heal Country’ invites us to explore the often-neglected wisdom held by First Nation’s communities in relation to the natural world.

Music for Victoria Fund supports sector recovery across the state

Melbourne business leaders and philanthropists have donated to the Music for Victoria Fund to support artists and venues across metro and regional Victoria.

Playing the Bowl: Archie Roach

We reflect on one of the remarkable highlights from Live at the Bowl – Archie Roach’s performance of Tell Me Why.

Chunky Move Collection

Look back at the beginning of Chunky Move and an early chapter in the creative journey of Gideon Obarzanek.

YIRRAMBOI artists speak their truth

Artists from the premier First Nations arts and cultural festival YIRRAMBOI reflect on how the struggle has allowed a new generation of artists and theatre makers to flourish.

Time to Rise

Wander through a winter wonderland, lace up some skates and witness unforgettable theatre and art installations. Ascending on Melbourne tonight, RISING sees festivity and late-night culture intersect.

LGBTIQ+ heritage in the Australian Performing Arts Collection

Stories of Australian singer Gladys Moncrieff and the Melbourne production of The Boys in the Band spotlight the importance of LGBTIQ+ performers, audiences and fans to the cultural heritage of Victoria.

That’s a wrap on Live at the Bowl

We look back at the open-air series that brought live performances back to our city.


‘Fangirl’ is a phase which has been coined to describe an adoring female supporter. If you weren’t (or aren’t currently) one yourself in your youth, the chances are quite a few come to mind at the mentioning of such mega-stars.

Child of Now: Growing into the future

Watch as a large-scale, interactive augmented reality child, the Child of Now, ages from the age 0 to 100 years over an epic 10-day performance.

Everybody’s free to feel good

Non-alcoholic beverage options often don’t get much more thrilling than a lemon-lime bitters. Or do they?

Taking back Mondays

Some of Melbourne’s smallest venues took centre stage at the Sidney Myer Music Bowl for Happy Mondays, a COVID-19 recovery initiative.

Opening the Bowl

The opening of the Sidney Myer Music Bowl on 12 February 1959 was a landmark in Melbourne’s history.

A lot to take in

When Opera Australia announced they were to auction their ‘dead stock’ the Collections team swung into action.

Charlie’s war against COVID-19

When COVID-19 closed the Australian theatre industry, Alan Brough and Sarah Kriegler’s brand new show was just about to take flight.

The kids are alright

At Arts Centre Melbourne, we believe that everyone deserves the opportunity to participate in arts and culture. No matter who you are, or where you come from – we all deserve to learn, to feel heard and experience the magic of the performing arts.

Embrace country and culture with Live at the Bowl

The Live at the Bowl program embraces country and culture with events that celebrate First Nations peoples.

Saving Melba’s time signature

Settle in for a story of a friendship between opera legend Nellie Melba and her friend and colleague – director Frank Rigo.

Building the Bowl

Explore stories and historical images giving a fascinating insight into the daring and skilled construction of the Sidney Myer Music Bowl.

Australian Music Vault: Olivia Newton-John

We take a look at a number of prized possessions acquired by the Australian Performing Arts Collection representing the contributions and achievements of one of Australia’s most important artists, Olivia Newton-John.

Legends of Drag

The most flamboyant and fabulous performances of them all are drag!

Then and Now: Arts Centre Melbourne past and present

This virtual walk through time compares historic images from the Australian Performing Arts Collection, with views of Arts Centre Melbourne as it is now, to explore the long history of performance and entertainment where the Spire now stands.

Flying from Austria to Australia

We spoke with Walter Weinwurm of Waagner-Biro Austria Stage Systems – the manufacturers of our brand new State Theatre Flying System.

The chimpanzee who changed everything

We talk about the large-scale sculpture of iconic chimpanzee David Greybeard and the questions it raises about questions around humanity’s relationship with nature and our closest living animal relative.

Penguins, hope and epic consequences

Moira Finucane's new work I Miss You Antarctica was developed as part of the Take Over! 2020 program, where independent artists undertook digital residencies from home during lockdown in the lead up to their presentation at Melbourne Fringe.

Take Over! – Supporting Artists in Adaptation

In a world where arts makers and lovers are experiencing a global pandemic, both the application and presentation outcomes of Take Over! have been reimagined for the digital space.

Care More Week 2020

Every year Arts Centre Melbourne celebrates Care More Week – a hands-on program of activities for all staff, focused on supporting their health and wellbeing.

Stroll through the Sunday Market online

While our shopping malls are missing their usual bustling crowds, Melbourne’s laneways remain hidden and retailers’ physical doors are closed – the virtual world of shopping and online entertainment are buzzing.

Asia TOPA Connected: Looking Back

Creative Director Stephen Armstrong reflects on the recent festival and what the future holds for the triennial.

Banding Together with the Australian Music Vault

In rapid response to the challenges of COVID-19, the Australian Music Vault has created a series of video stories and interviews that capture, in real time, the impact of the pandemic on our Australian music community.

Supporting artists through the COVID-19 pandemic

The last six months have been especially tough for the performing arts community, and the impact of COVID-19 has drastically affected the mental health of thousands of Australia’s creatives.

Giving the Gift of a Lifetime

You never forget your first time at the theatre. Whether it’s the physical feats of the performers, the whisper of anticipation as the lights go down, or the perfect detail on a costume – these memories are the beginnings for many of a life-long love-affair with the stage.

Off To A Flying Start

Under the guidance of strict safety and physical distancing protocols, a team of builders, engineers and staging professionals has been hard at work to replace our State Theatre flying system.

Through the lens – Mark Gambino’s top five photos

From dress rehearsals to a packed house at the Sidney Myer Music Bowl, there’s practically no part of Arts Centre Melbourne that Mark hasn’t seen.

Sidney Myer Music Bowl Mural by Adnate

As you walk through the lush green gardens of King’s Domain towards the Sidney Myer Music Bowl main entrance, a striking new mural will meet your gaze.

Researching the Performing Arts Collection Without Leaving Home

Dr Kate Rice is the inaugural Frank Van Straten Fellow.

Theatre and the Influenza Pandemic of 1919

In 1919, the global influenza pandemic also forced restrictions on public gatherings and the closure of theatres across Australia.

Don Quixote: From Stage to Screen

Don Quixote marks an historic moment in the life of The Australian Ballet and the company’s association with the world famous Russian ballet star, Rudolf Nureyev.

Australian Music Vault: Steri-Live

The best music festival to never happen.

Pass the Parcel: Wirth’s Circus Scrapbook

An object that can take your breath away.

Australian Music Vault: Celebrating Ruby Hunter

The 2020 National Indigenous Music Awards Hall of Fame inductee.

Top Picks for Families

Our team have hand-picked their favourite family friendly experiences to enjoy at home.

A Wardrobe Fit For A Very Merry Widow

The Australian Ballet’s production of The Merry Widow has all the elements of a Hollywood film, including a cast of glamorous characters led by the widow herself, Hanna Glawari.

La Stupenda makes a Grand entrance

In 1960, Dame Joan Sutherland was crowned ‘La Stupenda’ – the stupendous one – after a remarkable performance in the title role of Alcina at Teatro La Fenice, in Venice.

Creating at-home performance for every body

Companies like Rawcus, and others, are responding to the COVID-19 restrictions by pursuing new possibilities for performance, connection and artistic development.

Learning in lockdown – Creative Learning goes online

With parents and caregivers having to become part-time teachers, and educators supporting students remotely – we’re all having to work in new ways.

Knives, Swords, Spears and Tridents

The action-packed origins of The Australian Ballet’s Spartacus

Lights, Camera, Edna! Photographs by John Timbers

Dame Edna Everage has long been an Australian fashion and comedy icon. Along the way, the work of British photographer John Timbers has been central to Dame Edna’s public image.

Always Was, Always Will Be – Celebrating Vic NAIDOC week

This July our country’s most respected and loved First Nations artists came together for a huge online concert celebrating Vic NAIDOC Week.

Arthur Boyd’s Centenary

This year, 2020, marks the centenary of the birth of Australian artist Arthur Boyd.

Jack Charles V The Crown 10 Years Later

To celebrate the online season of this work, Uncle Jack Charles (writer and performer) and Rachael Maza (Director) reflect on what it was like creating this award-winning production.

Who's Afraid of New Australian Theatre?

Learn how Arts Centre Melbourne’s provocative theatre commission Anthem made it from page to stage, and hear directly from the five creatives behind the work.

Australian Music Vault: The Wild One - Johnny O'Keefe

July 2020 marks the 62nd anniversary of the release of one of rock ‘n’ roll’s most iconic songs, ‘Wild One’.

Bringing Coppélia to Life

A long term favourite with ballet audiences, the 19th century classic Coppélia takes centre stage again as part of The Australian Ballet’s 2020 digital season.


In this illustrative sweep of the Australian Performing Arts Collection we pay tribute to the kimono.

Pass the Parcel: Dame Edna's Scream Dress

Unveiling the stories behind Dame Edna’s Scream Dress

Looking After Photographs at Home - Part One

So you find some boxes while clearing out under the house.

Looking After Photographs at Home - Part Two

We dive deeper into how to look after your photography collections long term.

Pass the Parcel: Skyhooks

The Australian Performing Arts Collection team share their stories about the vest and white pants worn by Graeme Shirley Strachan of Skyhooks.

Travelling with Nick Cave's Portfolio

The Australian Performing Arts Collection goes on tour, and sometimes it needs a chaperone.

Objects of Fame: Nellie Melba and Percy Grainger

Dame Nellie Melba and Percy Grainger were two of the most famous Australians of their time. Both achieved success on the world stage and became household names in the country of their birth.

Circus, slides & roller skates: before Arts Centre Melbourne

Did you know that on the site of Arts Centre Melbourne, there were once circuses, a roller skating rink, a dance hall, and even a water slide?

From the suburbs to the Hamer Hall stage

Those Who Rock, saw Hamer Hall erupt with rock music and spark a true community spirit.

"Beyond Twelve": A compelling mix of things we’ve been missing, ballet, football and art

As the 2020 AFL season resumes, we tackle one of choreographer Graeme Murphy’s most beloved works, Beyond Twelve.

40 years of circus: an interview with costume designer Laurel Frank

Laurel Frank has been designing and making costumes for Circus Oz since it was founded in 1978.

My Favourite Item: Love at First Sight

Jenna Blyth, Registrar, Music and Art reflects on her favourite item from the Australian Performing Arts Collection.

From Stripped back to Sculptural: The Art and Craft of Jennifer Irwin

Showcasing the creative vision of designer Jennifer Irwin, whose journey with The Australian Ballet has generated some of the company’s most innovative moments in costume design.

How do you collect the performing arts?

Australia has a rich performing arts culture but how do you capture this in a museum collection?

Kylie On Stage: On Tour

How do you tour an exhibition that includes precious costumes and objects?

Step back in time with Dame Joan Sutherland

Watch archival footage of some of the remarkable performances behind three incredible costumes worn by Dame Joan Sutherland over her 40-year career.

Nellie Melba: Home Sweet Home

Dame Nellie Melba was Australia's first international star. Yet despite her fame and glamour...

Our Wonderful Volunteers

To celebrate National Volunteers Week we’ve spoken with two of our wonderful volunteers to get their insights on working with the Australian Performing Arts Collection.

(In)Spired Art

Arts Centre Melbourne venues have inspired many artists, both professional and budding.

Mental Health in the spotlight

Despite the illusions of glamour and excitement, working in the arts can be a rocky road.

Australian Music Vault: Tiddas

“Three women, two guitars, one spirit.” This is the phrase that truly encapsulates Tiddas’ stories, songs and sound.

Australian Music Vault: Music Industry Mums

What does it take to be a mum in the music industry?

Designs from The Australian Ballet Collection

We are digging deep into the glorious depths of The Australian Ballet Collection to bring you design highlights from their acclaimed productions.

'Act Drop – State Theatre' curtain

The Act Drop – State Theatre curtain is quite possibly the hardest working object we have.

Back(stage) to the future

3D scanning for costumes is proving to be a fascinating endeavour, with intriguing potential.

Australian Music Vault: Wild One - Tash Sultana

Tash Sultana is an artist who has always done things their own way.

Australian Music Vault: Music and Surfing

Music and sport in Australia have shared a dynamic relationship for many years.

Australian Music Vault: RocKwiz

Jane Gazzo speaks to Ken Connor about the secret to RocKwiz’s ongoing popularity...

Australian Music Vault: Truckloads of Sky - The Lost Songs of David McComb

When the music world lost David McComb in February 1999, Triffids fans felt they’d lost their torch-bearer.

Australian Music Vault: Vika and Linda Bull | Liner Notes Series

Vika and Linda Bull reflect on their illustrious 30 year career and speak candidly to Jane Gazzo about first gigs, their Tongan ancestry and the Australian music industry.

Australian Music Vault: Why Australian Artists Love Maton Guitars?

Jeff Jenkins explores why these iconic guitars have been at the core of Aussie music for over 70 years.

Australian Music Vault: Australian Indigenous Hip Hop - A Force to be Reckoned With

"Indigenous Australian hip hop is a powerful musical force to be reckoned with, and enjoyed for its contribution to complex social, cultural and political messages in contemporary Australian conversations"

Australian Music Vault: SLAM RALLY 10th Anniversary

Jeff Jenkins looks at the uniquely Melbourne protest movement that continues to shape the city’s live music culture.

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