marcus westbury

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Renew Newcastle is on!

October 28th, 2008 by marcus

Renew Newcastle, the project i have been working on to create cheap space for artists and community groups and bring life back to the Newcastle CBD has officially been virtually launched. Well, it now has a web site at

Meanwhile, if you are artist or community group, check out the call for proposals:


Renew Newcastle calling for proposals for projects in empty shops RIGHT NOW.

At this stage, we are seeking expressions of interest that outline:

* Who you are
* What you would like to do
* What type of space you would like to access (for example a shopfront, an office building etc)
* What support you would need
* When you would be available to start
* Whether you need a fixed term tenancy or whether you would be happy to access a building on a rolling basis (30 days at a time)
* Samples of your work or the kind of work you propose to undertake (links to web sites are preferred)

Ideally submissions should be no more than 2 A4 pages plus support material.

Please read the Renew Newcastle FAQ section thoroughly before submitting a proposal.

Projects will be shortlisted by Renew Newcastle and a short list will be presented to property owners who will make the final decision about what types of projects they want to have take place in their premises.

Renew Newcastle will be taking submissions on an ongoing basis but expressions of interest should be submitted by SUNDAY 2nd of November to be considered in the first round of submissions.

Email your submissions to or visit for more information.

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8 responses so far ↓

  • 1 Ben Farrelly Oct 28, 2008 at 6:33 pm


  • 2 Kathleen Done Nov 19, 2008 at 2:03 pm

    Hi Marcus. Its a great project, and I hope it goes well.
    The issue for many artists, however is that they actually need permanent workspace and living space in Sydney.
    So many artists have been sueezed out of Sydney, but there i, for some,still aneed to be near art activities in Sydney, Technical services and medical facilities not availble in other areas , s well as art market opportnities are another factor.
    The idea for temporary use of space for a”project” might seem like a great idea for the building owner,but many artists just don/t work that way.
    Some art forms ,even in the production of ephemeral works, require heavy, bulky tools, materials and equipment.
    The artist faces high transport costs, and then storage problems when occupation of temporary space ends.
    It might be worthwhile trying to find out hat artists actually want, rather then assuming that project. coincides the need.
    By the way, I have some studio space availble in 94 Oxford St, until March at leasti f you know of anyone who is lookng for a space.
    I would lke to find anyone who might be inerested, inhe long term, in forming a cooperative housing venture, to purchase warehouse space in Sydney.
    This would be about 5 yearsaway- I’d have to sell my place-but I’d like to get toether with others who have a similar need for work and living
    The reason I’m sending this suggestion to you is , I was just racikng my brains trying to figure out how I could fnd a warehouse space in Sydney that hasn;t been overly developed, and you came on 702 with Mr Glover!
    So here’s a long shot! Your next project can be to help us form a warehouse co-operative!
    best regards

  • 3 Lucas Jan 26, 2009 at 10:32 pm

    Hi Marcus, how’s the renew newky project coming along?

    I just wanted to mention, I’ve posted on my blog an old article I wrote about SquatSpace’s unReal Estate project from 2002, and some other related projects from the early 2000s.

    As you will recall, SquatSpace launched unReal Estate at the This Is Not Art festival you were running at the time.

    The article is here:

    That project – a directory of empty buildings in Newcastle, grew out of a smaller project that was initiated by Sydney Housing Action Collective (SHAC) in 2000.

    I thought this might be an interesting footnote to the history of your urban renewal through artistic occupation project.

    All the best

  • […] the article below, has, I believe, some resemblance to the recent project by Marcus Westbury called Renew Newcastle. Marcus was the director of the This Is Not Art festival in Newcastle in 2002 when SquatSpace […]

  • 5 Newcastle Hotels Jun 10, 2009 at 8:46 pm

    I had a look at your site and was impressed by it, you have started a really positive thing for your community and I think you deserve a big pat on the back, I hope you regeneration project is a success.

  • 6 chris alleyn Jun 18, 2009 at 10:14 pm

    I heard you on ABC great stuff,
    I would like to learn more for my little town of moss vale
    cheers chris A

  • 7 Kat Black Sep 8, 2009 at 1:45 am

    Your talk about Renew Newcastle in Perth last week was really inspiring. We’ve been talking to people ever since about how awesome it would be to get something similar happening in Northbridge (Perth’s entertainment district that has developed a pretty rough reputation over the past few years). Anyway, thanks for blazing the trail and encouraging people to step outside the “lease” box.

  • 8 Leigh Bailey Oct 22, 2009 at 9:45 am

    Just wanted to say Thank you for your presentation at our samaritans conference yesterday. The work you do is amazing, your ideas, approach and attitude are fantastic and very insperational. I commented on the idea of having a space for clients to use creativley in the heart of the city.. I might see if I can get some support in the idea and see where it leads. Any way, keep up the great work!