The Flash Forward creative laneways program has created 170 jobs over 18 months for local creatives, including artists, designers, music producers, lighting specialists, graphic designers, technicians and maintenance workers.
To date, 38 of Melbourne’s iconic laneways have been transformed into living works of art. The program has pumped nearly $9 million into the local economy and helped to welcome Melburnians and visitors back into the city.
The creative works will remain in the CBD for years to come, and provides an expanded street art experience both during the day and at night, with several works and installations coming to life after dark, illuminating city laneways.
The program supported many people who were doing it tough throughout the pandemic – those on short-term contracts, not in work at the time, or who had commissions and gigs cancelled due to the pandemic restrictions and border closures.
Forty major artworks commissioned will remain in place for at least two years. Of these, more than a third are integrated or stand-alone lighting installations. These creative lighting installations add a dynamic element to the program and support the night-time economy.
Forty new music albums have also been produced as part of Flash Forward. This work showcases musicians who would otherwise not seek out, or be eligible for many of the funding opportunities available – significantly elevating the profile and future opportunities for many local artists.
The program also included a pop-up store with merchandise and albums on sale to the public. More than $40,000 worth of sales went directly into the pockets of 83 artists.
The Flash Forward program was funded by the Victorian Government through the Working for Victoria initiative, designed to bring the city’s laneways to life, deliver vibrancy and excitement to our streets and support local businesses.
Quotes attributable to Lord Mayor Sally Capp
“Flash Forward has well and truly supported the creative resurgence of the city – reconnecting people and re-energising laneways to attract workers, residents and visitors back into the heart of Melbourne.”
“This program reinforces our global status as a mecca for street art and the capital of culture in Australia.”
“These new street artworks and soundtracks capture the essence of our city, telling the unique story of Melbourne. They will be part of our city landscape and conversations for years to come.”
Quotes attributable to Creative Melbourne portfolio lead Councillor Jamal Hakim
“Melbourne has been the canvas for some inspiring artworks and we’re so proud to play our part in backing local creatives – from graphic designers to musicians.”
“Our laneways, arts and culture scene are what makes Melbourne so unique – this project has been a real game changer, rejuvenating our streets and creating much needed jobs when it was needed most.”
Quotes attributable to Visual Design Artist UB
“I believe that public spaces have such a strong meaning and place to generate city vibrancy. Doing this work has inspired me to do more, this is my first time bringing a vision to life of puppetry.”
“It’s made me explore more about puppetry and shadow puppetry. I want to build from doing this Flash Forward exhibition to live puppetry shows, which is something I am learning at the moment.”