Newtown School of Arts (not to be confused with the Newtown High School for Performing Arts), an original social enterprise, has a history commencing in 1899 emanating from the Schools of Arts movement which had at its centre the betterment of the people through education, arts, culture and socialisation. The current 1916 heritage building, “5 Eliza”, has been revived for the purpose for which it was built and houses a broadbased Arts program that, in contemporary terms, revitalises and furthers these ideas and principles. Home to the Sydney Fringe, visual artists studios, Old 505 Theatre and Venue 505, 5 Eliza is buzzing with artistic enterprise morning to night. As a not for profit, unencumbered entity, the Newtown School of Arts Trust has proactively supported Sydney's artists by providing affordable, cultural infrastructure without the need for government subsidy. As the Trust owns the building outright, it offers highly discounted rent and the constitution dictates that the space is purely for artistic enterprise. Old 505 Theatre and Venue 505 program the pop-up theatre in the ballroom (with a capacity ranging from 65-120 seats) and showcase the very best independent theatre and acoustic music year-round. 5 Eliza is home to the Sydney Fringe who work throughout the year on advocacy for the sector as well programming Sydney's largest independent arts festival each Spring. They activate the whole building each September and use 5 Eliza as a base for their work throughout the year. In addition, 5 Eliza is home to 4 visual artists whose work is on public display in the Art Gallery of NSW and other national institutions. Newtown School of Arts is a vibrant arts hub that punches well above its weight, benefiting artists and audiences with affordable cultural infrastructure and discounted tickets. The work stemming from 5 Eliza reaches audiences of 100,000+ year round.
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