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Time to roll up the sleeves


Whilst the loss of Labor’s $230 million dollar Creative Australia had many in the arts world lamenting about what might have been there was also a collective sigh of relief that the release of the Australia Council’s new five year strategic plan heralds an era that dispenses with policy pomposity in favour of simply getting on with the job.


While Creative Australia was a cultural blueprint the Australia Council’s new strategic plan is more of a creative declaration articulating a clear vision by an organisation that is keeper of $200 million in public funding for the arts.

It’s true that terms such as ‘leadership’ and national ‘advocate’ have become common place in many arts strategic plans however the four goals supporting these aspirations point towards clear destinations in an industry landscape often defined by a mountainous chorus of “have nots” and “can nots”. Within the plan we see the continuance of artistic excellence with new separate goals for audiences, Aboriginal and Torres Straits Islanders arts and cultures and arts export and regional access.

At the end of the day it is not the placards that we are interested in, it is the money and as unaccustomed as we are to celebrating any financial announcements in arts world, there is genuine cause for celebration here. The complex list of grants and closing dates have been reduced to 10 grants and you now only need to remember 4 times a year to apply. Bad news for those who make a living by writing grants for others but excellent news for those who could never afford such a luxury in the first place.

In the end time will prove the ultimate determinant on whether the Australia Council’s vision of a cultural ambitious nation comes to pass. In the meantime I will be using my new found freedom from grant writing to ensure that I get the best view possible.

To learn more about the Australia’s Councils new strategic plan click here


Source: Creative Foyer




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