Lotteries no longer just the ticket for funding WA’s cultural offerings by Victoria Laurie. The Australian, 24 January 2018.
25 January 2018
Artsource welcomes the Minister for Culture and the Arts, the Hon. David Templeman’s stated intention to fight to protect the arts budget from more government cuts. Artsource is acutely aware of the shrinking resources available to nourish a growing visual arts sector. Now more than ever, we need the clear voice of an Arts Agenda (#artsagenda) to support the minister in continually empowering the Western Australian arts sector to punch above its weight. Not to have the rug pulled out from under it.
The value of the funding Artsource receives from the Organisations Investment Program (OIP), operated by the Department of Local Government, Sport and Cultural Industries, cannot be underestimated. Income for artists has proven stubbornly resistant to growth and Artsource commends the sector and our members, for continuing to practice and create enriching cultural experiences, despite low financial return.
Less than a year ago, WA Labor committed to supporting the arts, describing a strong arts sector as a 'significant employer' and 'absolutely vital' for a successful state in its Creative WA policy.
Although there have been ongoing and new initiatives, including leveraging our rich artistic and cultural life to promote tourism and jobs, in reality, despite growing cultural engagement in WA at a community level, arts related tourism is, at best, in its early infancy in WA. There is an unseen wealth of under-appreciated potential, exceptional talent, and remarkable creative innovation happening here in our own backyards all across WA. With visionary investment, these creative resources could be harnessed to generate vibrant cultural tourism growth for the state.
The Chamber of Arts and Culture has quantified the support required to sustain the arts in WA as just $5million per annum from the consolidated fund and a minimum of $17million per annum from Lotterywest, combined with encouraging matched private sector funding. This support is a vital start to reversing a declining state expenditure for the arts, where currently less than one percent of state funding keeps WA’s cultural institutions running.
Let’s not jeopardise what we have all been working so hard to sustain. Instead, let's begin to finally recognise and celebrate the hidden values that the arts has to offer in our state. As Minister Templeman observes, arts practitioners truly are "part of the economic narrative of this state”. We call on the government to allow our artists to thrive, not just survive.
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