Articles on National Programme for Excellence in the Arts

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More than 50 arts training programs across the nation, including circus, may no longer be supported by the federal government. Julian Smith/AAP

Arts training is an essential part of an innovative nation

The past two years have not been happy ones for the arts sector in Australia. It all began in early 2014 with federal Ministers Brandis and Turnbull telling artists at the Sydney Biennale that they were…
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?
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.
The 2014 Arts in Daily Life report found that 66% of Australians think the arts are important for child development. AAP/Waltraud Grubitzsch

The fun and funding fears for children’s theatre in Australia

The success of the Opera Australia and Barking Gecko Theatre's Rabbits offers a chance to celebrate the pioneering nature of children's theatre in Australia.
Making a splash in letters may be harder under changes to Australian arts funding. Orange County Archives Follow

Writers and publishers are all at sea under Brandis and the NPEA

It's hard to work out how funding for literature – if at all – fits into the draft guidelines of the new National Program for Excellence in the Arts. So what are the politics, and problems, at play?
Escape From Woomera is renowned as one of the forebears of “serious games” – what chance would it stand under new government funding guidelines? By Escape from Woomera development team, via Wikimedia Commons

No country for new videogames: Brandis and Abbott are playing with our creative future

This exclusion of games from artistic funding in this year’s budget follows the cancellation of the Interactive Media Fund in last year’s budget. Where to now for the Australian videogame industry?
Stage musicals, such as the Rocky Horror Show, don’t necessarily make sense. Nor do recent changes to arts funding. AAP Image/Paul Miller

We have a ‘show tunes’ government, with an arts policy to match

In cultural policy every good idea becomes a bad one if the context is confused. The fact there wasn’t initial clarity around the Program for Excellence indicates it will probably do more harm than good.
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?
The evidence of cultural consumption and production in Australia does not bear out the claims made by Senator Brandis. AAP Image/Mick Tsikas

Philosophy vs evidence is no way to orchestrate cultural policy

What is the premise of recently-announced cuts to Australia Council funding, and the establishment of a National Programme for Excellence in the Arts? There is actually a considerable evidence base from which to form policy decisions in Australian arts funding.

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