Articles on Australia Council

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The Australian Ballet, here performing Monument, is one of the 29 Major Performing Arts companies whose funding is guaranteed. Artists are calling for these 29 organisations to lose their special status. Lukas Coch/AAP

Just 29 companies receive 59% of Australia Council funding. Artists are calling for a change

Among growing feelings of despair in the Australian arts sector, more than 700 leading artists and arts-workers have signed a petition calling for the Major Performing Arts framework to be abolished.
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.
A scene from Bangarra Dance Theatre’s Lore: the oldest continuing culture in the world resonates with overseas audiences. Jeff Tan/Newzulu

‘Australia has no culture’: changing the mindset of the cringe

Why do students still describe Australia as a 'young' country lacking culture? Are our universities doing enough to to teach Australian films, artwork and books?
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"?

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