​AMPAG welcomes ABC’s regional engagement

AMPAG welcomes the ABC’s commitment to building its regional content and engagement, following the ABC’s recent announcement to spend $15 million a year extra on developing regional content.This announcement goes some way to reassuring our members of the ABC’s support for the arts, said AMPAG executive director, Bethwyn Serow.

​AMPAG welcomes ABC’s regional engagement

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‘Our members have a deep connection with Australia’s regional and rural areas, both in terms of performance and education.They connect with hundreds of thousands of children and adults around the country every year,’ she said.

CEO of Musica Viva, Mary Jo Capps, said: ‘We are proud to enrich people’s lives in the remotest corners of every state and territory. The ABC is a vital partner in our mission to connect Australians through music and we are fortunate to have the support of their wonderful broadcasters around the country.”’

At Senate Estimates on 28 February, ABC Managing Director Michelle Guthrie affirmed the ABC’s commitment to the arts.

‘Ms Guthrie expressed a desire to work with the symphony orchestras “to expand the audience as much as we can”,’ Ms Serow said, ‘and we would hope this will include working with the broader classic music ecology, including chamber ensembles and festivals.’

‘She also reiterated that coverage of performing arts and classical music in particular was very important to the ABC.’

Ms Guthrie has since met with symphony orchestra representatives and confirmed that the ABC has no plans to reduce the number of recordings or broadcasts of concerts by Australian ensembles on Classic FM.

Current chair of the ABC, James Spigelman AC QC, who has strong arts credentials, is due to retire on 31 March 2017.

While his successor is yet to be announced, AMPAG believes a similarly strong commitment to the arts is a must for the next chair, especially as the ABC’s board is expected to deliberate on an internal arts review in the coming months.

Given the ABC’s charter includes a requirement ‘to encourage and promote the musical, dramatic and other performing arts in Australia’, AMPAG believes a board with arts expertise and insights is essential.

Photo: Musica Viva FutureMakers, Arcadia Winds, performing live on ABC Classic FM. The ensemble tours for Musica Viva In Schools this year, taking music into many remote and regional classrooms.

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Audience Development, News