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Media Release • 23 Mar 14

Melbourne Now closes with 753,071 visitors through the doors of the NGV

After 121 days, 600 events and over 753,000 visitors, Melbourne Now finally closed its doors on Sunday.  The most ambitious exhibition ever mounted by the NGV, the exhibition heralded a new era, encouraging the full spectrum of creative contemporary practice across the visual arts, design, architecture, sound, dance, fashion, performance and film.

Minister for the Arts Heidi Victoria MP, said, “Melbourne Now has brought together the vibrant arts and design community of Melbourne, tapping into the creative energy that runs through Australia’s cultural capital. It has been a unique showcase for the enormous creative talent that exists here. I congratulate the NGV on attracting such an impressive number of visitors to the exhibition and also for reaching such a wide audience, including so many families and children. I’m delighted that Arts Victoria has played a significant part in helping to fund this extraordinary exhibition.”

Director of the NGV Tony Ellwood, said, “Melbourne Now has been transformative, both for the organisation and we hope for our audiences and the artists involved. Working with over 400 artists, 30 curators and over 70 donors and organisations to bring this project to life has rewarded us in more ways than we could have imagined. It has left legacies on a number of levels, from acquisitions and raising the profile of the artists involved, to building new and lasting relationships. With such extraordinary visitation, it has reinforced our belief that contemporary art is of real relevance and interest to audiences today.  Melbourne Now has certainly inspired us to elevate our aspirations. We couldn’t be happier.

Crucially Melbourne Now has inspired us to explore collaboration further and in general to take more creative risks. This has given us the ability to conceive and deliver a bold new initiative, NGV Triennial, which commences in 2017.”

Melbourne Now statistics:

  • 753,071 visitors
  • This is an increase of 32% compared with the same time period in 2012-13 (an extra 181,000)
  • The exhibition uniquely included visual arts, design, architecture, filmmaking, fashion, dance, sound and performance
  • Over 175 separate projects
  • Over 400 artists and creative practitioners
  • Over 100 works of art acquired, creating a long term legacy with the growth of the NGV’s contemporary art collection
  • 8,000 square meters over two sites including satellite events throughout the city
  • Almost 700 public programs, from dance classes choirs, fashion parades, talks and show and tell demonstrations
  • Approximately 98,000 people participated in Melbourne Now public programs
  • Late Night Friday events attracted an audience of over 12,500
  • 9 children’s interactive commissions
  • Over 87,000 children visited the NGV, along with approximately 25,000 students – a total of 112,000
  • 70 design projects from 40 designers appeared on the design wall
  • The NGV app was downloaded over 17,000 times
  • #MelbourneNow was used over 20,000 times on the social media hub during the course of the exhibition  
  • Over 500,000 feet danced on the dance floor

Of the dedicated children’s commissions:

  • 75,000 necklaces were made in Meredith Turnbull’s workshop
  • 90,000 bird stickers were used on Juan Ford’s landscape
  • 38,000 Preston Zly designed shoes were made
  • 31,000 music scores were made and played as part of The Donkey’s Tail Jr
  • 44,000 maps were created in Jan Senbergs’ Show Us Your World


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