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Rudd urged to take more interest in arts

Prime Minister Kevin Rudd, who visited Adelaide on Sunday but has missed all the city’s festivals, have been urged to take a more active interest in the arts.

The call, from the Australian Major Performing Arts Group (AMPAG), follows reports Mr Rudd continually turns down invitations to artistic events.

Mr Rudd missed the Adelaide Festival, the Fringe Festival and the Adelaide Writers Week.

AMPAG executive director Sue Donnelly told The Australian newspaper that Mr Rudd should be making a greater effort to attend performances.

"Accepting an invitation would be a gesture to demonstrate the arts ... are important," she said.

Museum of Contemporary Art director, Elizabeth Macgregor, agreed, but said it was a responsibility for all MPs.

"We would like to see all politicians taking more (of) an interest in the arts," she told ABC Television.

Labor's arts report card had had "some good steps but a lot more could be done," she said.

She defended Arts Minister Peter Garrett's job, saying he'd "been a great champion for certain aspects" of the arts.

"He has a great passion for supporting artists," she said, noting his background as frontman of rock band Midnight Oil.

"Hopefully with Peter Garrett fully focused on it (the arts) now he will be a great champion for us in cabinet."

Source: AAP

02 Mar, 2010 07:59 AM