The federal decision to eliminate a department of arts came as a surprise to public servants.
Jade Ferguson/Opera Queensland
We care less about the arts when there is less to care about. The government of the day has backed Australian arts and culture into a corner and it must start telling its story better to survive.
The Sydney Dance Company’s Ultimo rehearsal studios are the latest cultural space under threat from developers in Sydney – but there is a solution.
Kat Lu/Dunn HIllam Architects
Sydney's historic buildings are facing increasing threats from developers. But we're not just losing public ownership of our history – we're losing our cultural spaces, too.
The ABC’s Don’t Stop The Music looked at the benefit of music education in disadvantaged schools.
As comparisons are made between the finances of private and public schools, investment in a creative education for all should be prioritised.
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.
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.
Bill Shorten walks past the painting The Pioneer by Frederick McCubbin at the NGV Australia in Melbourne on May 11.
Labor's arts election policy includes more funding for the Australia Council and the ABC. But while this is welcome, arts and culture deserve far greater attention.
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.
Where is the nation-building cultural vision, the statement of cultural aspiration in this budget?
Adelaide has been known as the ‘Athens of the South’, but there are concerns about the current state of arts governance in South Australia.
The arts have long been championed in SA, but in recent years the sector has started to stagnate.
Artists and creatives often work in industrial spaces, which are declining in Sydney.
The loss of creative spaces to development is pricing Sydney artists out of the city. But they could be encouraged back with new cultural policies.
While the arts certainly have an economic benefit, they must also be recognised for their intrinsic value.
Economist David Throsby in a new Platform Paper calls for strong cultural policies from the Australian government.
Cirque du Soleil is one of the many Canadian artist groups that have received funding from the Canada Council for the Arts.
(Cirque du Soleil)
The new creative framework policy put forth by the Canadian government has been criticized for its capitalist and Silicon Valley leanings. But it's actually Canada's best creative policy to date.
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 arts advocacy and research could be the breath of fresh air the sector needs - or just more of the same.
An installation by the conceptual artists Frank and Patrik Riklin: From the bunker to the countryside - with ‘rooms’ without walls or a roof.
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…
Visitors take in Cameron Robbins’ Field Lines at Dark Mofo at the Museum of Old and New Art.
Many great artists died in 2016: Bowie, Prince, Leonard Cohen, Paul Cox, Shirley Hazzard. It was a year of creative foment and as always, intense debate about the importance of the arts to a thriving, democratic society.
Sydney Opera House during this year’s Vivid Festival: now, more than ever, we need artists to tell us the truth.
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?
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?
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.
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.
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.
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.
Banksy, photography by Chris Devers
Last night's budget failed to offer a compelling overall policy framework and vision for the arts in Australia. Like a Beckett play, narratively not much is going on.