Articles on Australia Council

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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…
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.
Visitors take in Cameron Robbins’ Field Lines at Dark Mofo at the Museum of Old and New Art. Mona/Remi Chauvin

2016, the year that was: Arts and Culture

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. 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…
The Mexican artist Diego Rivera was an early contributor to the Pago en Especie program, which allows artists to pay tax with art. Detail of the Rivera mural El hombre en cruce de caminos (1934). Wikimedia Commons

Should artists pay their taxes in art?

Many Australian artists eke out a living, yet government funding is generally heading backwards. Can we learn from Mexico, where artists are allowed to pay tax in paintings or sculptures in lieu of cash?

No (is a one word poem)

In the words of Jimmy Porter in Look Back in Anger, “the injustice of it is almost perfect”. Last week, Jason Potts argued here that the cuts made to around 60 cultural organisations under the Australia…
Something seems to be missing in the Australian art world. French Street theatre company performing at the Santiago a Mil International Theatre Festival - Ivan Alvarado/Reuters

Australia’s arts community has a big diversity problem – that’s our loss

Diversity is a vital part of a thriving art sector, yet only 8% of professional Australian artists come from a non-English speaking background. How can we beat "diversity fatigue"?
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.
The capricious nature of this government’s approach to arts funding promises very rich pickings. chiaralily

Beyond the inquiry: some notes on effective strategy to free the arts

A motion in favour of a Senate Inquiry into the establishment of a National Programme for Excellence in the Arts has been passed. What more can be done by those artists and arts organisations lobbying against unpopular changes to arts funding?

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