Major companies welcome new Minister for the Arts

The Australian Major Performing Arts Group has welcomed the new Minister for the Arts, Senator the Hon Mitch Fifield, saying it looked forward to exploring closer synergies with the communications portfolio.

Major companies welcome new Minister for the Arts

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‘Nurturing our own creative expression, telling stories and connecting audiences is vital for the ongoing vibrancy of Australia’s performing arts and screen sectors’, Ms Bethwyn Serow, AMPAG’s Executive Director, said today. ‘Government, private sector and audiences all play a part.’

‘In 2013 the MPAs estimated that 12 million people watched or listened to a broadcast or screening of one of their performances—a stat that continues to grow.’

Many Australian plays have become successful films over the years.

‘No doubt live performance, which is so important as a dynamic shared experience, will continue to inspire the big screen, while our main focus is reaching and inspiring people direct’, Ms Serow said.

Ms Serow said she looked forward to developing a close working relationship with the new Minister, at a time when the arts sector needed a cohesive and inclusive approach.

The MPAs are major employers of Australia’s leading artists and creatives (employing more than 10,000 people); they produce works of scale; and they develop new works that reach large audiences.

Ms Serow pointed out that the government funding (which for some companies is as low as 7 per cent of their total revenue) is not just about supporting mainstage performance.

‘They are committed to artistic development and building capacity in the sector, working with small and medium-sized organisations in co-productions and collaborations, as well as working closely with the elite training institutions.

While the MPAs aim to facilitate and support emerging artists’ ambitions, importantly, we do not do it alone. It’s a fragile ecosystem where all the parts are interdependent. There remains a critical development role for state and federal governments.

‘The challenge is to grow the investment pie and sustainability in the sector while remaining flexible and open to innovation, new partnerships and opportunities’, Ms Serow said.

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