Articles on Arts funding

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Kate Sherman and Nicci Wilks in Theatreworks’ 2016 production of the play Animal. The acclaimed Melbourne theatre company has lost its long-term Australia Council funding. Theatreworks

Cut throat competition, ‘corporate-speak’ and dark ironies: two new five-year arts plans

Both the Australia Council's and South Australia's new five-year arts plans talk the talk, but fail to provide vital arts funding and structural support for a diverse arts culture.
Communications and Arts Minister Mitch Fifield during a press conference in Canberra in June 2018. Over the last six years of Coalition government, there has been a lack of strong policy initiatives and a neglect of smaller arts organisations. Lukas Coch/AAP

Arts and culture under the Coalition: a lurch between aggression and apathy

The Coalition government's approach to arts and culture policy has been one of ad hocism and neglect. Perhaps most serious has been the damage done to the Australia Council and the ABC.
Dancers perform a scene from the Sydney Dance Company’s WOOF: the arts are one of the ways we make sense of our place in an increasingly confusing, and confused, world. Joel Carrett/AAP

Missing in action: a vision for the arts in the 2019 budget

Where is the nation-building cultural vision, the statement of cultural aspiration in this budget?
Tourists queue to take a photograph of the Mona Lisa at The Louvre. © NikkiJohnson, Image Perception

Beyond bulldust, benchmarks and numbers: what matters in Australian culture

At a time when even accountants are looking for a more compelling understanding of value, it is imperative that the arts – where individual experience is central – resist the evangelical call of quantification.
Peter Coleman-Wright and Merlyn Quaife during a dress rehearsal of Bliss in 2010: it is one of few important local operas over the past three decades to have been staged a second time. Tracey Nearmy/AAP

Friday essay: where is the Great Australian Opera?

Australian operas have been written about many pressing topics - from the Stolen Generations to the Lindy Chamberlain case - but few have been staged a second time. What is going wrong?
‘The shape of things to come’, installation view at Buxton Contemporary, the University of Melbourne, March 2018. Photograph by Christian Capurro.

Private collectors are saving Australian art, but they can’t do it on their own

Philanthropists are creating new galleries to share their private collections with the Australian public. But these gifts do not ameliorate the deficit left by declining government arts fundings.
Artist Cathrin Machin successfully crowdfunded her project Beautifully Nerdy Deep Space Paintings & Prints. Cathrin Machin/Used with permission

Is the future for artists in crowdfunding?

Many Australian artists have seized on the chance to crowdfund their work through agents such as Patreon and Kickstarter. But crowdfunding should not be a substitute for government support for the arts.
The income gap between men and women is wider in the arts than the average gap across all industries in Australia. This is especially so for female writers, visual artists and musicians. Dmytro Zinkevych/shutterstock

The gender pay gap is wider in the arts than in other industries

The average Australian female artist is better educated than her male counterpart but earns significantly less than him, new research shows. And artists' incomes are declining in real terms.
Opera is treated differently to other artforms in Australia. AAP Image/Tracey NearmyAAP Image/Tracey Nearmy

Does opera deserve its privileged status within arts funding?

It is a strange reality but opera as an artform is always given special and arguably preferential treatment by governments and other influential forces in Western society. This happens, it seems, regardless…
The creative arts are not a lifestyle choice. They are a life. Dan Himbrechts/AAP

University cuts – the dire implications for the creative arts

The plan is there is no plan. On climate change, immigration, energy, marriage equality – pick an area – the federal government displays policy desuetude and political exhaustion. Around the world, the…
Rather than more measurement of culture, we need more conversation about what kind of culture Australia wants. AAP Image/Tracey Nearmy

A new approach to culture

A new approach to arts advocacy and research could be the breath of fresh air the sector needs - or just more of the same.
Nearly three-quarters of Australians go to live art events, such as Dark Mofo in Hobart. Stefan Karpiniec/Flickr

Creative country: 98% of Australians engage with the arts

New survey from the Australia Council shows pretty much all Australians engage with the arts, and 8-in-10 do so online. However more people are ambivalent about public arts funding, and more people think the arts are too expensive.
An installation by the conceptual artists Frank and Patrik Riklin: From the bunker to the countryside - with ‘rooms’ without walls or a roof. Ennio Leanza/EPA

Are we counting culture to death?

It’s a strange thing when the re-entry of genuine choice into political contests is framed as “anti-politics”. It feels more historically accurate, and logical, to see it the opposite way. For the past…

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