#IStandWithTheArts #AusVotesArtsFEDERAL ELECTION
National Day of Action
Friday 17 June

15 June 2016

The National Day of Action has been called for Friday 17 June in response to the cuts to the arts budget over the last two years. At last week’s National Arts Debate both Labor and the Greens outlined their respective arts policies. The Coalition did not offer one.

  • In Australia, the arts employ more people than agriculture, construction or mining and the creative industries generate $50 billion for the Australian economy.
  • Independent artists and organisations are the backbone of arts in Australia, generating new ideas and new talent. Artists are the innovators of our nation.
  • On 13 May this year, 50% of the previously supported small to medium arts companies did not receive funding as a result of the government’s cuts to the Australia Council.
  • These cuts will result in job losses and will have flow on effects across our cultural industries, educational institutions and the commercial sector.

It is vital that the arts remain on the agenda during the last two weeks of the election campaign. Here's how you can support the arts on the National Day of Action and on until election day:

  • Sign the national petition HERE.
  • Write an email or letter of support for the arts to your local candidates (contact details below).
  • Get on social media and post about your support with #istandwiththearts and #ausvotesarts.
  • Write to the Arts Minister, Hon Mitch Fifield: minister@communications.gov.au.
  • Spread the word – ask your personal networks to join in and help too.
  • Vote for the candidates with the best arts policies on 2 July.

Contact deatils for federal election candidates in WA are HERE and if you need to find your electorate click HERE.

Although Artsource is writing individually to federal election candidates across Western Australia, it’s important that candidates also hear directly from as many others as possible.

Read our media release HERE.

Robert Dorizzi, Artsource Midland Studios, 2015. Photographer: Sue-Lyn MoyleDismay at funding cuts to NAVA

13 May 2016

Artsource, the peak membership body for visual artists in Western Australia, is today dismayed and deeply concerned to learn that the National Association for the Visual Arts (NAVA) is facing one of its toughest challenges in its 33-year history.
The Australia Council for the Arts has announced that it will not continue to fund NAVA, the national peak body for Australian visual and media arts, craft and design sector. NAVA, like many other arts organisations, is bearing the brunt of the recent changes to arts funding and the cuts made to the Australia Council.
Chair of Artsource and leading Western Australian artist Dr Miik Green said, “NAVA is an essential organisation, supporting artists across the nation, actively championing their interests and is a vital part of the Australian visual arts ecology. I am dismayed that funding has been cut.”
Dr Green, who has written personally to NAVA’s Executive Director, Tamara Winikoff, to express his support for NAVA, continued, “I understand that over half the applicants failed to receive organisational support from the Australia Council's four-year funding round, and 65 previously-funded organisations have been cut. My thoughts are with them all at this very difficult time.”
Chief Executive of Artsource, Gavin Buckley said, “Tamara Winikoff, NAVA's Executive Director, is a champion for the visual arts across Australia. Under Tamara’s leadership, in concert with her team and Board, NAVA has achieved a great deal for the visual artists across the nation and worked tirelessly to advance the interests of artists and the visual arts for the benefit of us all. NAVA is a highly respected partner and I wholeheartedly agree that the role they play on the national stage is needed now more than ever.”
Artsource shares the view that NAVA is an essential organisation for the wellbeing of Australia’s visual artists. We are also deeply concerned for the other organisations, including visual arts organisations, who have lost their funding as a result of the decisions announced this week. We join the call for our members, friends and supporters to let their feelings be known to the Australia Council and Government.

Write to new Minister

24 September 2015

Malcolm Turnbull, Prime Minister, has replaced Senator George Brandis with Senator Mitch Fifield as Minister for the Arts. This is a welcome development and it is to be hoped that Senator Fifield, having noted the clearly articulated concerns of the 2,250+ written submissions to the Senate Inquiry, will take swift action. If you haven’t yet done so, you may wish to underline your concerns with Senator Fifield by sending him, with a covering note, your submission to the Inquiry:

Senator the Hon Mitch Fifield
Minister for Communications and the Arts
42 Florence Street, MENTONE VIC 3194
or email to: mitch.fifield@aph.gov.au

Write to new PM

15 September 2015

In light of the recent ministerial changes, NAVA, our National Association for the Visual Arts, has lead the call by arts organisations urging the sector to write to new Prime Minister, Malcolm Turnbull, to express concerns about the impact of the federal arts budget cuts on small to medium-sized organisations and individual artists.

Artists and arts workers wishing to write to or to send a cover note with your Senate Inquiry Submission to Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull can do so at:

Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull
Parliament House
Canberra ACT 2600

or email to: malcolm.turnbull.mp@aph.gov.au.

Senate Inquiry: public meeting in Perth

3 September 2015

The Senate Inquiry’s public meeting in Perth this week heard directly from Artsource, artists and a range of other leading WA arts organisations. All 29 witnesses who gave evidence from the WA arts and cultural sector presented a consistent picture of how the changes in the federal arts budgets in 2014 and 2015 are bad news for the arts, particularly small to medium-sized organisations and individual artists.

The visual arts panel at the public hearing comprised Dr Miik Green (Chair of Artsource and visual artist), Gavin Buckley (CEO, Artsource), Amy Barrett-Lennard (Director, PICA), Rebecca Baumann (visual artist), Sarah Rowbottam (independent curator) and Professor Ted Snell (Director, UWA Cultural Precinct). The full program for the day is available here.

Artsource welcomed the public hearing in Perth as it presented the opportunity for us to voice directly to Senators the concerns of individual artists who are disadvantaged by the cut to the Australia Council and excluded from applying to the new National Program for Excellence in the Arts (NPEA). Emerging, small and independent projects, groups and artists are where artistic excellence and innovation begin. We believe the professional and measured contribution made by the WA arts and cultural sector at the public hearing in Perth will be difficult to ignore.

The results from our recent survey on the impact of the funding changes show that nearly 90% of Artsource members are deeply concerned that the NPEA excludes individual artists and also want the NPEA repealed and funds restored to the Australia Council. Only 5% of survey respondents thought that the changes to arts funding introduced by the Federal Budget are, on balance, a positive development for Australia’s cultural landscape.

Following the hearings in Melbourne and Perth, the Senate Committee is holding further public hearings in Hobart, Brisbane and Adelaide. The Committee is due to report on 26 November.

Julie Hein’s studio door at Artsource Midland, 2015. Photographer: Sue-Lyn MoyleHelp us prepare for the Senate Inquiry meeting in Perth

28 August 2015

The Senate Committee set up to examine the impact of the of the 2014 and 2015 Commonwealth Budget decisions on the arts is coming to Perth on 1 September. It will be held in the Committee Meeting Room 2, Legislative Assembly Committee Office, Level 1, 11 Harvest Terrace, Perth, 9.00am to 5.00pm. Download the program here.

Together with over 2,200 others, Artsource has made a written submission to the Senate Inquiry. Our Chair, Dr Miik Green and our CEO, Gavin Buckley have been called to appear as witnesses at the public Senate Inquiry meeting in Perth.

We would like to offer some additional information to help Senators understand the views of artists in Western Australia. To this end, it would be very helpful if you would please take around 6 minutes to respond to this short survey.

  • This survey has now closed.

Note that the survey does not ask for any personal details so individual responses will be anonymous and confidential. Please complete the survey by Monday 31 August 2015. Thanks!

The Senate Committee set up to examine the impact of the of the 2014 and 2015 Commonwealth Budget decisions on the arts is coming to Perth on 1 September.

In advance of the public hearings, the first of which took place in Melbourne, over 2,200 submissions were received by the Senate Committee from individuals and organisations across Australia and internationally. This is a very high response that in itself underlines the significant degree of concern about the budget changes.

All submissions to the Senate Inquiry are being uploaded to the website of the Parliament of Australia and are available to download here. However, fewer than 30% of the submissions have been uploaded to date (20.08.15), so to read the submission from Artsource you need to click here.

Artsource welcomes the establishment of the Senate Inquiry and our submission makes the following key points:

  • This radical change to arts funding was introduced without full and proper consultation.
  • The change will impact, in particular, individual artists and small to medium-sized arts organisations.
  • Emerging, small and independent projects, groups and artists are where excellence and innovation begin.
  • The NPEA is moving away from the principles of arms-length funding and informed peer assessment.
  • Individual artists, the very people who create the excellence, are explicitly excluded from the NPEA.
  • Two bodies distributing the same amount of money will cost the taxpayer more and create more bureaucracy.
  • We do not support the cuts to major national institutions, including the National Gallery and Portrait Gallery.
  • Uncertainly around the introduction of the NPEA threatens to undermine the mixed funding for the sector.
  • Cultivating greater private sector support should not be done at the expense of existing government support.
  • We call for the funds to be restored to The Australia Council and the establishment of the NPEA to be repealed.
  • We call for additional funds to support the arts in Australia.

The venue for the Senate Committee meeting in Perth is yet to be announced and invitations to speak at the meeting have not yet been issued. When available, Parliament will publish details here and we will keep Artsource members abreast of developments.

The inquiry is due to report on 26 November 2015.

Artist Studio Fremantle. Image Eva FernandezCALL TO ACTION: The Australia Council and the Federal Budget 2015

22 May 2015, by Gavin Buckley

The initial impact of the recent unexpected announcement that $104.8M will be redirected away from the Australia Council over four years is becoming clear. Following the announcement, made in the Federal Budget, The Australia Council has issued a statement outlining the actions it is taking in response to the cut.

The Australia Council statement is available here. It states “to manage the transition to the new funding framework the Council needs to take the following actions:”

  • The June 2015 grant round will not proceed. Applications already submitted will be assessed at the September round, which will include multi-year project support for individual artists and arts organisations. (Note that the March 2015 grant round is unaffected with outcomes being announced in June.)
  • The six-year funding for organisations program is suspended.
  • Current contracts of multi-year funded organisations will be honored until their conclusion at the end of 2016.
  • The ArtStart, Creative Communities Partnership Initiative and Artists in Residence programs will not be offered in future.

The monies cut from the Australia Council will go to establish the ‘National Program for Excellence in the Arts’, to be run directly by the Ministry for the Arts. It is not yet clear how this new Program will operate. Some of the funds will also be directed to Creative Partnerships Australia to foster private sector support for the arts.

Taking into account these and a number of other changes, the fund remaining to support the Australia Council’s grants model, current Key Organisations, national and international development activities, capacity building, research and operations is $62M, some $23M less than expected.

The changes are wide reaching, but are likely to impact significantly on individual artists and small to medium sized arts organisations.

Taking Action

Artsource has been speaking with NAVA, our National Association for the Visual Arts, and we are united in our call to action asking that artists and arts organisations write to Senator the Hon George Brandis QC, Minister for the Arts, together with local Senators and local members of the House of Representatives.

An open letter has been developed and is available here. Do feel free to edit the letter so that it gets across what you want to say. You may wish to:

  • describe the value of what you deliver to the community that arises from the government’s investment in the arts;
  • perhaps you are directly affected by the withdrawal of the June Australia Council grant round;
  • highlight any other concerns you have about the Arts Budget and risks and/or problems it will cause for you.

Email Senator the Hon George Brandis QC directly: here

Contact details for your Senate representative may be found here and your local member here.

Other Links

  • Attorney-General’s Portfolio Budget measures 2015-16: here >
  • Australia Council Media Statement: here >
  • Statement by the Chamber of Arts and Culture, Western Australia: here >
  • National Association for the Visual Arts (NAVA): here >