The Greens' Arts Policy and the 2019 Election

The Greens, in releasing their Arts Policy on 28 April, are calling for an end to cuts in the sector, including a restoration and ongoing indexation of Australia Council funding, as well as proposing new initiatives, including:

The Greens' Arts Policy and the 2019 Election

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  • $150 million over four years for an artistic partnership program tofund artists and arts organisations working with teachers in classrooms around the country to deliver artistic education
  • $10 million in new investment for the establishment of a Creativity Commission
  • new investment in video games and screen content.

AMPAG welcomes the Greens' commitment to investment in arts content creation, including a commitment to restore and index all funding to the Australia Council as a first step. However, there is a need for far greater investment to stabilise and build the Arts sector to position it to not only champion our creative potential, but also to be well positioned to facilitate and effectively leverage cross-portfolio collaboration.

We hope the Greens will also support a removal of the efficiency dividend that is currently applied to the Council, which effectively diminishes program funding year on year.

We recognise the creative interconnections that are fostered between stage, screen and digital platforms, and welcome $50 million p.a. to support the production of Australian screen content, and $100 million to establish a new Games Investment and Enterprise Fund, which will open up new possibilities for experimentation and collaboration to tell our stories across emerging technologies. The Greens have also committed to legislate for an ABC funding allocation of $1.2 billion in additional funding over the next 10 years, and $130 million to SBS over the next three years to phase out advertising by 80 per cent, which may have some flow-on benefits. However, more investment is needed in the Arts sector itself, to address:

  • unfunded excellence
  • regional touring and engagement
  • First Nations’ cultural ambitions[1]

as well as to:

  • enable research and development of creative new major works
  • better support multi-year funded organisations in the performing arts sector.

The Greens have made a significant commitment to new investment in an arts education partnership program. The MPAs reach over half a million school students across Australia each year, delivering performing arts performances and education programs, and work to lift capacity in the education sector through workshops and mentoring programs for schoolteachers. These activities are often made possible through philanthropic support. The Greens’ commitment will support deeper arts engagement, which can generate more than an awareness of the Arts — it can also have a profound impact on students’ wellbeing as well as their academic and social development. This commitment will help address the challenge faced by many schools who currently lack arts resourcing.

The Greens have also pledged their support for the establishment of a Creativity Commission to help Australia transition from STEM thinking to STEAM thinking by integrating the creativity, usually reserved for the Arts, throughout the economy and society. We are interested to learn more about the proposal. In advancing the national innovation agenda, for example, we cannot build a better future without insight and understanding of the human dimension and the impacts that new developments in science and technology will have on people and society.

We recognise the growing need for the skills and mindset that are nurtured in the Arts, including empathy, problem solving and flexible thinking, to be developed across the broader workforce. The Greens’ STEAM approach makes sense if the creativity agenda establishes effective cross-arts sector engagement.

Read the Greens' full Arts policy here.

[1] The Greens have outlined policies for the genuine progression of First Nations to Close the Gap, in their broader policy platform

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