Articles on Cultural policy

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Justin Trudeau sees the artistic and creative industries as drivers of Canadian innovation. vl04/flickr

Art for innovation’s sake? Lessons from our Canadian cousin

Canada, a country with a similar demographic and economic profile to ours, has a very different approach when it comes to arts funding. Under Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, there is a renewed sense of vitality in the arts.
The ills that afflict any society can be dealt with much more effectively when the arts are integrated into the national conversation. John Gollings/AAPONE

Finding our identity: arts policy and the future

What if Malcolm Turbull’s conception of "21st-century government" imagines a healthy civil society and a responsive economy that values debate, imagination, difference and surprise - all provided by the arts.
George Brandis shocked the arts sector – and particularly the Australia Council – with his overhaul of the allocation of arts funding. AAP Image/Dean Lewins

The arts minister has wrenched our culture away from the artists

The more the 2015 arts budget is examined the less sense it makes. The changes contribute little strategically or politically – they just make an entire sector nervous. And culturally, they will improve nothing.
There were no nasty surprises for the arts in the 2015 Budget – but plenty of worrisome rhetoric. Mick Tsikas/AAP

There’s money for the arts in the budget – but with strings attached

There were no truly nasty surprises in last night's Budget for the arts – but clear discomfort was expressed with the "arms-length" approach that hitherto has guided the allocation of arts funding.
How can we assess whether or not Australian cultural policies work if we don’t have the data to measure participation? AAP Image/Nikki Short

What ABS cultural participation data tells us about cultural policy

The results of the latest cultural participation survey conducted by the Australian Bureau of Statistics show how valuable the data really is.
Creating a unique Australian culture has been an enduring challenge. AAP/'Bungaree, The Showman' by Mervyn Bishop

A hybrid Australia, where identity has a multi-layered crunch

Australia today is very different to the place I grew up in: our culture has changed and is changing, but public discussion is still framed by old tropes. We need a new shorthand to capture the reality…
Not everyone is happy about Malcolm Turnbull’s cuts to ABC funding – but they may represent value for the taxpayer. Michael Scott

Less publicly-funded TV is good news for taxpayers … if not pigs

Malcolm Turnbull’s well-telegraphed announcement yesterday that the ABC’s funding will be cut by A$254 million over five years is no surprise. But, broken election promise aside, this is actually something…
Gough Whitlam, Labor prime minister from 1972 to 1975, has died aged 98. AAP/ Joe Hildebrand

Gough Whitlam, young people and public support for the arts

Gough Whitlam’s legacy in the arts first hit me as a little indie-music nerd in the 1990s. The inner-city Sydney band The Whitlams made a funny little music video about their namesake, a bloke who was…
Why don’t the new draft Sustainable Development Goals mention culture? Ron SdotC/Flickr

To have sustainable development, we need to consider culture

At the end of July draft Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) were released by the United Nations-appointed Open Working Group. Those of us hoping to see culture identified as part of those goals were…
The Liberal government didn’t need a fully-functioning cultural policy at the last election. AAP Image/Alan Porritt

OzCo has a new strategic plan – where’s Abbott’s cultural policy?

As with other emissions of choice opacity – horoscopes, Bible stories, RBA economic forecasts – cultural policy announcements invite construal of their mystical meaning. Nothing is quite as it seems. On…
To understand Australian culture in all its diversity, we need data. AAP Image/Dan Himbrechts

We need ABS arts and sports data to understand our culture

The Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) last week released its 2014-2018 forward work plan. The work plan confirms the June media release that arts and sport data will disappear from the ABS-funded component…

Are the arts & culture a public good?

Regular readers of this column will know that I’m neither an artist nor a cultural expert, but something much more déclassé: I’m a cultural economist. Part of this involves studying the incentives that…
The state of culture in Australia? Basically, it’s in rude health. Ars Electronica

The state of Australia: cultural economy

In the lead-up to the budget, the story of crisis has been hammered home, but there’s more to a country than its structural deficit. So how is Australia doing overall? In this special series, ten writers…

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