Articles on Arts policy

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Sydney Opera House during this year’s Vivid Festival: now, more than ever, we need artists to tell us the truth. Tibor Kovacs/Flickr

Friday essay: the arts and our still-born national identity

There was once a sense of excitement about creating a genuinely Australian culture and making our own way in the world. What's happened to that optimism?
David Bowie was the master of reinvention. Can the arts sector follow suit? Brandon Carson/Flickr

Can the arts sector reinvent itself?

A culture of 'managerialism' has bled the arts of originality and purpose. We need a changed mindset and an arts and culture think-tank that is separate from the Australia Council.
Why can’t an artist offer advice to politicians in the same way a scientist can? David Gray/Reuters

Why Australia needs a Chief Artist

In one of those abyssal silences that punctuate official Thinkfests when artists have to come up with new policy ideas that don’t involve asking governments for more money, I once facetiously suggested…
Public protests forced a backdown on a proposed merger of university art schools, but their value to cities is still being underestimated. Joel Carrett/AAP

Why arts schools matter, not just for art’s sake but for urban renewal in Sydney and other cities

Art schools are emerging globally as very powerful instruments of urban renewal. In a time of transformation, Sydney must learn to tap into the value of having multiple art colleges.
Three more years for Malcolm Turnbull and the Coalition. AAP/David Moir

Election 2016: what will a re-elected Coalition government mean for key policy areas?

What's in store for key policy areas, from health to education to infrastructure to asylum seekers, under a returned Coalition government?
Deep funding cuts will affect Australia’s entire arts ecology. Ekke

Carnage in the arts: experts respond to the Australia Council cuts

A 'mortal blow' to the South Australian theatre scene. 'Inexplicable' cuts to centres for photography in two states. The Australia Council's latest funding decisions have left the arts sector reeling and are evidence of a government indifferent to culture.
It’s time to look back on a year of art and culture. Blake Danger Bentley. Melbourne street art

2015, the year that was: Arts + Culture

It's another year in Arts + Culture, so in case you missed it we've collected all the best coverage of screen, theatre, music, books and culture in one place.
The BCA was probably doomed the moment Tony Abbott announced its creation out of Australia Council funds. Nastya Shershneva

Short shelf life: the Book Council of Australia is stuffed back on the rack

The Book Council of Australia – announced by Tony Abbott just over a year ago – was today scrapped. But we still need a body to advocate for literature and to advise government on policy settings.
Following a sustained and vocal campaign by the arts sector, the National Program for Excellence in the Arts has been canned. AAP Image/Alan Porritt

Out with the NPEA, in with Catalyst: expert response

Following a sustained and vocal campaign by the arts sector, the controversial National Program for Excellence in the Arts has been rethought and renamed. Should we be celebrating or concerned?
To bring arts policy into the 21st century, we need to update and correct the basic economic flaws that were baked into the mid-20th century model. Fabrik Bilder/Shutterstock

Leaving legacies behind: arts policy for the here and now

Turnbull’s 21st century vision for government provides an opportunity to fundamentally rethink arts and cultural policy from the ground up and move beyond its 20th century legacy.
If we have learned anything thus far it is this: one man’s excellence is another man’s mediocrity. AAP Image/Mick Tsikas

The Senate Inquiry into Arts Funding: a new live performance work

In live performance, when developing a new work and before getting to the final rehearsal period, previews and season, there is often a public showing. Enter the Senate Inquiry, stage left.
Senator Scott Ludlam said changes to arts funding will mean the minister will not need to publicly reveal funding recipients. True or false? AAP Image/Mick Tsikas

FactCheck: will the Arts Minister need to publicly disclose who he funds?

The Greens' Senator Scott Ludlam said changes to arts funding will mean arts minister George Brandis won't need to publicly disclose who he's funding. He said it's unbelievable -- but is it true?
We need to consider what balance we want to achieve between the heritage and contemporary arts. AAP Image/Julian Smith. Artists of the Australian Ballet rehearse for the The Dream.

Majors and the majority: planning for Australia’s artistic legacy starts now

Given the pressure being applied to the majority of people working in the arts sector, we would be foolish not to consider the roles and inherited rights of Australia's major performing companies.

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