Federal Budget

There is a significant concern in the arts sector that the shift in funding from the Australia Council’s grant program to the National Programme for Excellence in the Arts (NPEA) will reduce the overall level of funds available to nurture and develop artistic vibrancy and opportunities for emerging artists in the small medium and independent sector.

Federal Budget

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The transferring of funds from the Australia Council has created significant uncertainty and instability in the small to medium sector. It has come in the middle of the Australia Council’s grant assessment process for this part of the sector. The budget announcement has stopped that process.

The artistic value and contribution of the small to medium arts organisations and independent artists is significant and important, but their ongoing existence is fragile. The MPA companies have a significant role to develop artists and the art form, and we recognise that our own work and our own long-term vibrancy is entwined, with and impacted by, the overall health and vibrancy of the broader arts ecosystem.

We support an adequately funded arts ecosystem that is vibrant and accessible. Artists and arts companies are no different from any business…they grow and thrive best when they have a level of certainty about their future.

We do know the NPEA will be open to applicants from across the arts sector. We do not yet know how the NPEA will work, but its focus on endowments, international engagement and strategic initiatives is, on face value, one that would benefit the sector as a whole.

AMPAG, as a representative body, and all of our member companies are committed to the success of the overall arts ecosystem in this country, and we will be working with everyone who has an interest in growing and developing the sector. The key is firstly to maximise the pool of funds available to the sector, whether from government, sponsorship or philanthropy. Secondly we need to ensure those funds which are invested by government are allocated through the sector in an effective, efficient and transparent manner.

John Irving
AMPAG Chair

Bethwyn Serow
AMPAG Executive Director

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