Art fund­ing change could be dam­ag­ing

Southern Gazette (South Perth) - - Footy Finals 2015 -

PERTH A DRAS­TIC change to arts fund­ing has the po­ten­tial to cause se­ri­ous dam­age to the in­dus­try, ac­cord­ing to vis­ual artist rep­re­sen­ta­tive Art­source.

The state­ment comes af­ter Art­source joined Perth art, theatre and cul­ture rep­re­sen­ta­tives ad­dress­ing a se­nate com­mit­tee into changes to the fed­eral arts bud­get in 2014 and 2015.

The se­nate in­quiry vis­ited Perth to hear about the im­pact the last two bud­gets will have on Perth’s art com­mu­nity, in­clud­ing the in­tro­duc­tion of the Na­tional Pro­gram for Ex­cel­lence in the Arts (NPEA).

Un­der the new sys­tem, the NPEA will al­lo­cate more than $100 mil­lion over four years, fund­ing which had pre­vi­ously been handed out through the Aus­tralia Coun­cil in an im­par­tial process.

Fund­ing for ma­jor groups was guar­an­teed be­fore the changes, but many in the in­dus­try re­main con­cerned about how smaller or­gan­i­sa­tions and lo­cal artists will cope.

Art­source chief ex­ec­u­tive Gavin Buck­ley said with 900 mem­bers, they were “deeply con­cerned” about the changes to fund­ing.

“To in­tro­duce such a rad­i­cal change to the arts fund­ing process with­out full and prop- er con­sul­ta­tion has po­ten­tial to cause se­ri­ous dam­age,” he said.

“Our in­di­vid­ual artist mem­bers are ex­cluded from the min­is­ter’s new NPEA fund and the monies re­main­ing for them at the Aus­tralia Coun­cil are much re­duced, im­pact­ing on both in­di­vid­ual artists and small to medium-sized arts or­gan­i­sa­tions.

“The changes made in the Fed­eral Bud­get will make things even harder for artists in WA, a State that has in the past not ben­e­fited from Fed­eral arts fund­ing to the

d443185 pro­por­tion one would ex­pect for the size of our pop­u­la­tion.”

Art­source chair Miik Green said they were call­ing for the NPEA to be re­pealed and the fund­ing re­stored to the Aus­tralia Coun­cil.

Cham­ber of Arts and Cul­ture WA ex­ec­u­tive di­rec­tor Henry Bos­ton said 29 wit­nesses from var­i­ous art or­gan­i­sa­tions had their say: “By the end of the hear­ing it was clear that the sen­a­tors un­der­stood the di­ver­sity of arts prac­tice in WA and the enor­mous re­turn on in­vest­ment that the arts give to gov­ern­ments.”

Pic­ture: Will Rus­sell

Art­source chief ex­ec­u­tive Gavin Buck­ley and Art­source chair Dr Miik Green.

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