The arts sector is Australia’s engine room for creativity and cross-pollination of new ideas, which penetrate into the broader creative industries and the community. To fully realise these public goods, government needs to enable our citizens’ participation in the arts and address market failures to ensure vibrancy of the arts sector itself.
AMPAG has recommended a multipronged, long-term strategic approach to funding that will build greater base stability and stimulate ambition, innovation and access within the performing arts sector.
AMPAG has also made a number of recommendations around strengthening the MPA Framework, recognising the stability generated by the Framework and the partnership approach has been its core strength. The Framework should provide clear focused priorities and be regularly reviewed to ensure stability and responsiveness to the prevailing conditions and needs of the performing arts ecology. Developing a greater capacity to extend the Framework to additional performing arts organisations that address strategic gaps and needs is also supported; noting that organisations in the Framework should continue to be expected to achieve the highest levels of excellence, demonstrating performance standards of world-class arts companies, advancing artists’ careers and inspiring audiences.
However, it is also vitally important to consider the ecology as a whole and the important development of artists and new works outside the MPAs. AMPAG has recommended that a review of the small to medium performing arts organisations and independent artists should be undertaken in 2019 in order to provide a solid foundation for establishing a new operating environment for the entire performing arts sector.
AMPAG has ongoing concerns over the growing level of unfunded excellence. The Australia Council has signalled significant opportunity loss in relation to grant funding applications of high merit that they are unable to support due to lack of funds.
AMPAG has recommended an uplift in government investment to secure stability and growth as well as an increase in project funding. We also recommend seed funding for major new Australian works and strategic initiatives and programs that develop and realise new opportunities for employment of Australian performance artists, managers, technical and operational staff, and potentially also attract increased private and foreign investment in the sector.
Regional touring and the current difficulties in securing supply and developing deeper engagement and participation opportunities for regional communities’ arts access is widely recognised in the sector. AMPAG has recommended an increase in investment in the Playing Australia fund and a broadening of its remit to enable it to provide greater certainty and opportunities for additional regional arts engagement and creative development.
We also support increased capacity for government to advance strategic projects to develop the sector and it’s the audience and respond to changing conditions.
AMPAG supports new investment in Indigenous self-directed arts and cultural development, and our submission fully supports the Indigenous call for the establishment of national Indigenous arts and cultural authority (NIACA).
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