The Childers Group

An Independent Arts Forum for Canberra and the Region

The Childers Group

Childers Group 2024 Arts Election Forum : Monday 1st July 6pm-8pm @ Belco Arts Centre

The Childers Group 2024 Arts Election Forum

Save the Date : Monday July 1st : 6pm-8.00pm Belconnen Arts Centre Theatre

“What is the future for the Arts after the next ACT Election?”

The Childers Group has held an arts forum every election since 2016. Our last forum in 2020 was held via Zoom (Covid days) and it will be great to have this one in person. Special thanks to the Belconnen Arts Centre (and their wonderful staff for being our hosts.)

Childers will be inviting 3 members from the Assembly to speak to their arts policy : Minister Tara Cheyne, Opposition Arts Spokesperson Nicole Lawder and Greens spokesperson Jo Clay.

The format for the forum will be as follows: (forum moderator TBA)

  • We would like you to present your party’s policy – five minutes maximum
  • We would like you to address 3 specific questions from our arts community which will be provided to you in advance
  • Then questions/comments from the floor.

After the forum there will be a chance to network with other arts colleagues.

Please send a question (Childers email address below) that your organisation would like to be answered. Childers will collate them and use them as an amalgam of the possible 3 specific questions to be sent to our Assembly members.

Please spread the word to all your arts contacts, Board members, staff and members of your arts community.

Send your question and let us know that you can attend to : childersgroup@gmail.com

 

 

Artists As Workers : Important research paper by Professor David Throsby and Katya Petetskaya for Creative Australia

Artists as Workers: An Economic Study of Professional Artists in Australia

May 06, 2024

Overview

Artists as Workers: An Economic Study of Professional Artists in Australia, by David Throsby and Katya Petetskaya, is the seventh in a landmark study, carried out independently over the last four decades by Professor Throsby and colleagues at Macquarie University, with support from Creative Australia (previously the Australia Council for the Arts).  

Conducted at roughly sixyear intervals, the series tracks the working conditions of artists, providing information about their artistic practice, income, career development and pathways, and their broader working lives.  

The latest survey was in the field late 2022 and early 2023 and examines activity in the 2021-22 financial year. This edition therefore captures the conditions for artists in the wake of COVID-19 and coincides with the Australian Government’s January 2023 announcement of its five-year national cultural policy Revive: A place for every story, a story for every place  

Key Insights

Artists as Workers: An Economic Study of Professional Artists in Australia  highlights a number of challenges and opportunities faced by professional artists.  

  • How can artists sustain and continue artistic practice alongside other commitments, constraints and/or the need to earn a living? 
  • How does the artistic workforce represent broader Australian society and what barriers affect different groups? 
  • How are artists’ skills, capabilities and ways of working aligned with the changing nature of work? 
  • How is societal and technological change impacting Australian artists and their work?  
  • How can professional artists be supported, protected and remunerated into the future? 

These questions are explored in Artists as Workers: A summary and response by Creative Australia. Key survey findings are placed alongside other literature and analysis to highlight and contextualise emerging trends, and to discuss what they mean for Australian artists into the future.

Childers Group Report for 2023

The Childers Group Yearly Report for 2023

As the election year 2024 commences the Childers Group will continue its advocacy for the arts and culture in Canberra and the Region. The last few years have been extremely difficult for local artists however we are confident that the arts will once again flourish.

2023 activities

 

  • We have had Assembly meetings over the year with the Chief Minister Andrew Barr, Arts Minister Tara Cheyne, Greens Arts Spokesperson Jo Clay, Liberal Arts spokesperson Nicole Lawder and Health Minister Rachel Stephen Smith

 

  • Meetings with Minister Cheyne covered : briefing on the 2023-2024 budget outcome for the arts, discussion of the responses from the arts community to the Funding Outcomes of the Multi Year Round (2022), proposal for a Submission for the 2024-2025 Budget from the Arts Centres Group, discussion on the remuneration principles outlined in the Statement of Ambition ( how is it going to monitored and regulated)

 

 

  • continued meeting with Kate Fielding, CEO of A New Approach ( national arts and culture think tank based here in Canberra) https://newapproach.org.au/

 

  • lodged our Budget Submission with ACT Government for the 2024-2025 Budget ( Childers has been doing these submissions since 2013) : see link below

 

 

  • continued our partnership with the Cultural Facilities Corporation

 

  • continued liaison with Music ACT

 

  • Childers members have played an active role in the Canberra Artists Action Group (CAAG)

 

  • Childers members have continued to play an active role in National arts advocacy

 

 

Former Childers Group member Steve Cassidy writes about the new Federal Arts and Cultural Policy

Steve Cassidy on the new Federal Arts and Cultural Policy : June 2023

(Follow the links to his very useful blog.)

Time to revive with renewed national cultural policy

‘After a hiatus of ten long years Australia finally has a new national cultural policy that maps out what the current Albanese Government plans to do in support of Australian culture and creativity. The previous policy, announced by the Gillard Labor Government in 2013, was a very good policy, even though it had its gaps, but its impact was cut short by what turned out to be a series of Governments that managed to steadily become worse the longer they were in office. At first glance the new policy appears to be an arts policy, rather than a broader cultural policy, but on closer scrutiny it is connected to far wider initiatives, including some that have never been included in a cultural policy before. Part of a series of three articles that consider different aspects of the cultural policy, this first one looks at the policy generally and outlines some of the major components it will deliver. The second article is about the connection between the policy and broader social and economic features, such as the cultural economy and First Nations economic development. The third article looks at the boost to the national collecting institutions which collect and safeguard Australia’s cultural heritage’, Time to revive with renewed national cultural policy.

https://cassarticle.blogspot.com/2023/05/time-to-revive-with-renewed-national.html

The whole picture – an arts and cultural policy for everyone and everything

‘After a hiatus of ten long years Australia finally has a new national cultural policy that maps out what the current Albanese Government plans to do in support of Australian culture and creativity. At first glance the new policy appears to be an arts policy, rather than a broader cultural policy, but on closer scrutiny it is connected to far wider initiatives. Part of a series of three articles that consider different aspects of the cultural policy, this second one is about the connection between the policy and broader social and economic features, such as the cultural economy and First Nations economic development. The first one looks at the policy generally and outlines some of the major components it will deliver. The third article looks at the boost to the national collecting institutions which collect and safeguard Australia’s cultural heritage,’ The whole picture – an arts and cultural policy for everyone and everything.

https://cassarticle.blogspot.com/2023/05/the-whole-picture-arts-and-cultural.html

Who we are and where we come from – end to the rot in our national cultural institutions?

‘After a hiatus of ten long years Australia finally has a new national cultural policy that maps out what the current Albanese Government plans to do in support of Australian culture and creativity. At first glance the new policy appears to be an arts policy, rather than a broader cultural policy, but on closer scrutiny it is connected to far wider initiatives. Part of a series of three articles that consider different aspects of the cultural policy, this third article looks at the boost to the national collecting institutions which collect and safeguard Australia’s cultural heritage, outlining how after decades of damage from the so-called efficiency dividend, Australia’s national cultural institutions, amongst our most important publically-owned assets, might just have been saved. The first article looks at the policy generally and outlines some of the major components it will deliver. The second article is about the connection between the policy and broader social and economic features, such as the cultural economy and First Nations economic development’, Who we are and where we come from – end to the rot of our national cultural institutions?

https://cassarticle.blogspot.com/2023/05/who-we-are-and-where-we-come-from-end.html

 

ABC needs to cover the Arts (with thanks to Esther Anatolitis and The Guardian)

The arts are finally on Australia’s national agenda. We need the ABC to cover it.

As the government passed landmark legislation for the arts, it was jarring to see the national broadcaster take steps in the other direction.

It’s been a momentous week for the arts in Australia: a nation electrified by creative work across all genres, and a transformative new policy enacted as law.

Melbourne’s Rising festival; Tasmania’s Dark Mofo; Sydney’s Vivid and the Sydney film festival, happening at the same time. The Emerging Writers’ festival and the Williamstown literary festival are also on, each celebrating their 20th anniversaries, and on Tuesday this week – ahead of the annual Australian Performing Arts Market – there was a landmark gathering of First Nations performing arts organisations held in Melbourne, mapping out new futures for Indigenous creative workforce development.

Underlining it all has been the passing of the Creative Australia legislation on Friday, which established two new bodies – Music Australia and Creative Workplaces – to support Australian musicians and artists. In the lead-up, we saw MP after MP rise to speak meaningfully and passionately about the central role that creative culture plays in our lives, and its unquestionable role in powering the economy.

Creative Australia is a central tract of the Albanese government’s national cultural policy – itself a welcome boost to the industry after more than a decade of declining federal support of the arts. Embedded across government portfolios, Revive heralds a new era of creative invigoration.ABC’s quiet revolution behind sackings as viewers switch off TV and tune into TikTok | Weekly BeastRead more

For the first time in a long time, it feels like arts are on the national agenda.

So it’s been quite jarring to see the national broadcaster take steps in the other direction…

>>> Read on in the Guardian

Childers Group ACT Budget Submission 2023

The Childers Group 2023-2024 Budget Submission

For eleven years the Childers Group has been contributing to the development of the ACT budget through ACT Treasury’s budget consultation process.

The Childers Group welcomes the opportunity to provide input into the 2023-2024 ACT Government Budget development process.

The Childers Group is an independent arts forum established in 2011. Our advocacy is based on the principles of:

  • independence;
  • objectivity;
  • valuing the arts; and
  • pride in Australia’s national capital city and the surrounding region.

The Group has delivered yearly forums, involved MLA representation from the three main political parties, held a variety of meetings with stakeholders such as the Cultural Facilities Corporation and advocated our ideas with the ACT Government, the Federal Government, A New Approach and Creative Australia.

Consequently, what follows is informed, considered, and situated in a national policy context.

Opening Statement:

The Childers Group would like to acknowledge the ongoing support from the Government in relation to the arts and creative industries in the ACT and Region. As the sector continues to emerges from the Covid19 pandemic it is worth reflecting that the action of the ACT Government was timely and critically needed.

However the sector is at a crucial crossroad and a greater response in terms of funding from government is needed to consolidate and grow the sector.

Minister Cheyne’s Statement of Ambition 2021-2026 was positively received but increased funding to realise that statement is essential in the 2023-2024 Budget and budgets in the outgoing years.

 

  • A brief summary of our submission.

The Childers Group acknowledges the Government’s ongoing support for the arts and creative industries.

Canberra is one of the most liveable cities in the world. This achievement is due in part to the rich diversity of creative opportunity available to us to experience and participate in. Our city continues to grow quickly and we must be courageous and imaginative in ensuring these opportunities grow with us. As our city has grown the contribution from government to arts funding has not grown to match it. This is a serious misstep. Additionally we do not have a “local Council” function in our government structure (as distinct from the states) and as A New Approach ( National Arts and Culture think tank based in Canberra ) has noted through its research, that is where the greatest increase in funding for the arts has been seen over the past 10 years.

The Arts Minister’s Statement of Ambition has called for Canberra to be the Arts Capital of Australia. A bold plan and it must be met with increased investment into the arts portfolio. This needs to be for our Arts Centres, our Arts Organisations, our Emerging Arts Organisations and our individual artists.

Research shows that increased investment brings measurable outcomes, not only for the artists and companies concerned but for society more widely. ( A New Approach  : https://newapproach.org.au/

Childers Group strongly supports the Government’s elevation in its Arts Policy of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders peoples’ cultural and artistic practices. The inclusion of an Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander art space in the Kingston Arts Precinct is an extremely important milestone in the cultural life of the Territory. The great work of the ACT Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Arts Network is welcomed and supported by Childers and the wider arts community.

With the adoption of the ACT Government’s Wellbeing Framework Childers Group believes that the arts can play a central role in bringing the framework into focus and can generate real measurable returns for the arts investment.

 What more can the ACT Government do to improve community well-being in Canberra?

The Wellbeing Framework : Where are the Arts???

We note that in relation to Arts and Culture as of May 2023 there is still no data or comments in relation to the impact of arts and culture in the Framework. This must be addressed as a matter of priority.

Across the 12 Domains of the Framework the arts can play a significant role. We note that

Research done by the Canberra based arts, creativity and culture research think tank A New Approach (ANA) ( www.newapproach.org.au ) clearly shows :

“…when a considered effort is made to direct cultural and creative activities towards improving social cohesion , the impacts are significant including :

  • building feelings of community belonging and trust, enhancing empathy and inclusion
  • help in combating the growing issues of loneliness and isolation.
  • increasing civic participation and making cities, suburbs and regions more liveable
  • help individuals and communities recover from disasters and trauma”.

In relation to building a healthier Australia ANA research has shown that :

  • “engagement with arts and cultural activities reduces health risks particularly for mental health
  • arts and cultural tools have also been successfully used to improve outcomes in terms of both prevention and treatment of physical illnesses and diseases.
  • the arts can improve in-patient outcomes, can improve recovery from long term conditions, can reduce dementia risk and can improve elderly quality of life.”

 Our priorities for the 2023-2024 Budget

Every Canberran should have access to the key arts organisations to inspire and engage them. Every Canberran artist should have a Centre and an arts organisation that will support them to grow and develop.

And every visitor to Canberra should be able to find the key Canberra arts organisation that invites them to share in the wonderful cultural life of our city. “Sure come for our National Institutions but stay a day or two longer to see the rich Canberra Arts Experience : galleries, theatre, dance, music, visual arts, writing and our wonderful Indigenous Story.”

PRIORITY ONE : FUND THE VISION, INVEST IN WHAT IS NEEDED

The new government funding categories cover 3 areas Arts Centre Investment, Arts Organisation Investment and Emerging Arts Organisation Investment.

When asked “how much do you need to run your programs” and “what is your vision for the future” Centres, Organisations and Artists responded to the Minister’s Vision and Creative Policy with artistic passion and careful consideration. “We’ll tell what we need, please fund us properly.”

However the outcome of the new investment program ran last year, left most affected companies feeling extremely disappointed. Government needs in this year’s budget to invest in what is really needed.

 

RECOMMENDATION 1 : The Childers Group strongly advocates for an increase of an extra $10,000,000 into the Arts Portfolio for the 2022-23 Budget.

We would see $5M for Art Centres, $3M for Arts Organisations and $2M for Emerging Arts Organisations and Individual Artists

 PRIORITY TWO : STRATEGIC GOVERNMENT OBJECTIVES AND DIRECTORATE LINKS

RECOMMENDATION 2

Childers Group recommends that the ACT Government establish links between Government Directorates to maximize Arts Development in the ACT and region.

Stronger links between arts organisations, practitioners (companies and individuals) , Events Canberra and Visit Canberra has commenced and need to be continually pursued with some urgency.

Tourism and the Arts are a strong area for ongoing development.

In line with ACT Government strategic priorities of enhanced liveability and social inclusion, suburban renewal and health and education investment, the role of the arts in these areas should be recognised with the establishment of officer positions in ACT Government Directorates, including Education and Training, Health, Environment and Planning, JACS and Transport , at the Senior Officer Grade 3 level, to identify and implement strategies where arts activity can multiply existing value and enrich outcomes. In the first instance, this should be a 3-year initiative.

Establishing and consolidating existing links between artists, arts organisations and the stakeholders of each Directorate should be a key component of the work. For example, engagement in the arts throughout a child’s schooling, including early childhood, has immeasurable benefits which are now both quantifiable and proven in countries that have invested in strong arts programs within their schools.

The Childers Group looks forward to engaging with government over our Budget Submission in the next few months.

Yours Sincerely

Michael White

On behalf of the Childers Group

27th April 2023

 

Time for an ACT Budget Submission

2023 ACT Budget Submissions

From : Michael White : Convenor of The Childers Group

Dear Arts Colleagues

The next ACT Budget 2023-2024 will be brought down on the 27th June. The government is currently seeking community input into the Budget process.

The Childers Group has been putting in Budget submissions since 2012. We also advocate for the arts on an ongoing basis and use our submissions as a point of contact with Government.

Our 2022-2023 Submission can be seen at : https://www.childersgroup.com.au/the-childers-group-2022-2023-budget-submission/

We would like to urge our Arts Organisations (AO’s) to consider putting in their own submissions this year. Many other community organisations ( Health, Law, Education, Social Services etc) do so but over the years we have noticed that the arts sector is mostly silent when it comes to the Budget process and expressing a view on the needs of our sector.

Our AOs have recently gone through the “Arts Centre Investment Program Framework, the Arts Organisation Investment Program Framework and the Emerging Arts Organisation Investment” process and it be great for the Government to hear how you feel that process went and how the outcomes reflect our requirements for ongoing growth of the sector. How can the next Budget address issues that were missed. What are the funding needs?

Some AOs may have already addressed their issues directly with meetings with the Arts Minister and with artsACT.

If you would like the Childers Group to raise issues in our submission, we would be happy to talk to you (in confidence in needed). Please contact us via our email address : childersgroup@gmail.com

PLEASE CONSIDER A SUBMISSION

There are 2 ways to have your input into the Budget Process.

  • Via the online survey : fairly quick and easy : takes about 10 minutes.

 

  • Via a more detailed formal submission

 

All the information from the ACT Government website is here : https://yoursayconversations.act.gov.au/2023-24-budget-consultation

 

From the ACT Budget Consultation website :

Survey and submissions

You are able to provide your or your organisations input via two main avenues.

You are welcome to participate in the 2023-24 Budget Consultation survey which may be found here.  The survey will close for input on 28 April 2023.

A form has been made available for written budget submissions if you wish to provide more detailed input. If you encounter any difficulties in using this form, your submission may still be emailed through to budgetconsultation@act.gov.au.

If you provide a submission via email, please indicate whether your content can be made public, or is to be treated in a confidential manner.

The written budget submission process remains open indefinitely and serves to inform the development of future budgets. We encourage budget submissions to focus on the longer‑term expenditure and revenue priorities for the Government and how the Government can best support the wellbeing of the Canberra community.

 

 

Childers Group Information

 

                          The Childers Group advocates for the arts in the ACT and region

www.childersgroup.com.au

childersgroup@gmail.com

Our advocacy is based on the principles of:

  • independence,
  • information,
  • connection,
  • objectivity,
  • ongoing development,
  • valuing the arts, and
  • pride in Australia’s national capital city and the region that surrounds it.

The Childers Group is committed to the long-term viability and vitality of the arts. A key part of our role is advocating support for the arts to governments at all levels, and engaging with the private sector, educators, the media and the broader community about the value of the arts.

The Childers Group values the exploration of the facts and taking the time to reach rational conclusions based on evidence. (Our original inspiration was the Wentworth Group of Concerned Scientists, which brings cool, calm, considered thinking to matters of environment conservation.)

The Childers Group has a proven track-record in the visual arts, music, dance, theatre and performing arts, film, youth arts, community arts, and literature. The Group also has expertise in tertiary arts education, community cultural development, and festivals and events based on local/regional, national and international experience and connections. Many of our members have local/regional as well as national expertise and connections. While most of our members live and work in the ACT, some of us are based in regional NSW.

 The Childers Group does not aim to be the only voice for the arts in the ACT region, and we encourage a diversity of views.

 In practical terms, what do we do? Each year we hold public forums focusing on topics of interest to the arts community, we prepare formal submissions to governments, we meet with agencies/institutions to progress issues, and we also initiative/coordinate arts advocacy campaigns. We welcome media interest and do our best to accept all invitations to speak about the arts. For a summary of our advocacy to-date, go to our webpage.

The Childers Group does not receive funding from any government or organisation, and we are not aligned with any political party. All our members are volunteers. Membership is by invitation. Why ‘Childers Group’? It refers to Childers Street, Canberra City, where the group met for the first time, in November 2011.

Current Members: Meredith Hinchliffe, David Williams, Julie Dyson, Michael White (Convenor), Alison Plevey, Jenni Kemarre Martiniello, Lizz Murphy, Mark Ferguson

Look for Childers also on Facebook

The Childers Group 2022-2023 Budget Submission

The Childers Group 2022-2023 Budget Submission

For ten years the Childers Group has been contributing to the development of the ACT budget through ACT Treasury’s budget consultation process.

The Childers Group welcomes the opportunity to provide input into the 2022-2023 ACT Government Budget development process.

The Childers Group is an independent arts forum established in 2011. Our advocacy is based on the principles of:

  • independence;
  • objectivity;
  • valuing the arts; and
  • pride in Australia’s national capital city and the surrounding region.

The Group has delivered yearly forums, involved MLA representation from the three main political parties, held a variety of meetings with stakeholders such as the Cultural Facilities Corporation and advocated our ideas with the ACT Government, the Federal Government, and the Australia Council for the Arts.

Consequently, what follows is informed, considered, and situated in a national policy context.

Opening Statement:

Covid19 : The Childers Group would like to acknowledge the swift action that the Government took in relation to additional funding made available to the arts throughout the Covid 19 pandemic. The 3 Homefront programs and support given to our Key Arts Organisations was crucial and has been greatly appreciated by the sector.

The Creative Recovery and Resilience (CRRP) Program has also been a very welcome initiative to the sector as it slowly moves out of the initial Covid19 situation.

Minister Cheyne’s Statement of Ambition 2021-2026 has been positively received and the sector looks forward to working with the Minister in bringing the statement to “life”.

We look forward to the announcement by the Minister of the new Arts Policy and the arts organisation funding framework.

A brief summary of our submission.

As the arts sector slowly begins its recovery from Covid the Childers Group acknowledges the Government’s ongoing support for the arts and creative industries.

Canberra one of the most liveable cities in the world. This achievement is due in part to the rich diversity of creative opportunity available to us to experience and participate in. With the growth of our city and surrounding regions, we must be courageous and imaginative in ensuring these opportunities grow with us. As our city has grown the contribution from government to arts funding has not grown to match it.

We strongly recommend that if we are to move forward meaningfully with the Minister’s Statement of Ambition it must be met with increased investment into the arts portfolio. This needs to be for our Key Arts Organisations, our small to medium companies and our individual artists. Research shows that increased investment brings measurable outcomes, not only for the artists and companies concerned but for society more widely.

With the adoption of the ACT Government’s Wellbeing Framework Childers Group believes that the arts can play a central role in bringing the framework into focus and can generate real measurable returns for the arts investment.

What more can the ACT Government do to improve community well-being in Canberra?

The Wellbeing Framework

We note that as of May 2022 there is still no data or comments in relation to the impact of arts and culture in the Framework.

Across the 12 Domains of the Framework the arts can play a significant role. We note that

Research done by the Canberra based arts, creativity and culture research think tank A New Approach (ANA) ( www.newapproach.org.au ) clearly shows :

“…when a considered effort is made to direct cultural and creative activities towards improving social cohesion , the impacts are significant including :

  • building feelings of community belonging and trust, enhancing empathy and inclusion
  • help in combating the growing issues of loneliness and isolation.
  • increasing civic participation and making cities, suburbs and regions more liveable
  • help individuals and communities recover from disasters and trauma”.

In relation to building a healthier Australia ANA research has shown that :

  • “engagement with arts and cultural activities reduces health risks particularly for mental health
  • arts and cultural tools have also been successfully used to improve outcomes in terms of both prevention and treatment of physical illnesses and diseases.
  • the arts can improve in-patient outcomes, can improve recovery from long term conditions, can reduce dementia risk and can improve elderly quality of life.”

Community Arts and Cultural work along the lines mentioned above is already being successfully done in programs run by Belconnen and Tuggeranong Arts Centres. This work needs to be expanded.

Where are our arts programs in our prison, our hospitals, our walk-in health centres, our senior citizen homes? Where are our arts programs that work with youth at risk? What are the needs of our Indigenous community and what are they saying is important for their wellbeing and how can the arts assist in that?

Childers Group would argue that in relation to the 12 Domains of the Framework the question should be : How can the Arts be used to reach the aspirations for wellbeing in each area??

What are your top three priorities for the COVID-19 economic recovery?

Every Canberran should have access to the key arts organisations to inspire and engage them. Every Canberran artist should have a key arts organisation that will support them to grow and develop. And every visitor to Canberra should be able to find the key arts organisation that invites them to share in the wonderful cultural life of our city.

 

PRIORITY ONE : STABILITY FOR ACT KEY ARTS ORGANISATIONS (KAO’S)

The Childers Group notes that the KAO’S funding agreements are being brought into alignment, in 2022, and that this will offer the ACT Government an unprecedented opportunity to maintain a network of key arts organisations that provides comprehensive cultural services to the Territory, across geography, artform and level of practice. Because of the fragility of the arts sector this alignment needs to be done with sensitivity and good consultation.

RECOMMENDATION 1

As result of the ongoing impact of Covid19 the Childers Group encourages the ACT Government to continue to fund the stability of our ACT’s Key Arts Organisations to fulfil their potential and support their sustainable growth.

PRIORITY TWO : FUNDING : IF THE ARTS STATEMENT OF AMBITION IS TO BE FULLFILLED THEN SUFFICIENT FUNDS MUST BE MADE AVAILABLE.

The Childers Group believes that there still is an ongoing significant decline in ACT arts grants funding on a per capita basis, and as a proportion of funds available to Government. This is also happening on a national basis as reported in the first research paper prepared by the independent arts think tank A New Approach. The paper noted declines in Federal and State Funding to the Arts but noted that the one level where there was an increase was in the Local Council area. Unfortunately, the ACT does not have this “local council level” of funding.

A Post Covid 19 Boost : Special Funding Increase for the Arts Activities Funding – $5000-$50000 sector

The “small to medium” companies and independent individual artist sector of the grants funding process is the engine room for the growth of exciting and new arts activities in the ACT.

These projects reveal where our new artists and our great “new works and companies” are created and it is Childers view that this needs to continue to grow and be funded appropriately.

Involvement and funding should prioritise local artists in major ACT large events, eg. Floriade/Enlighten and other festivals. Opportunity to apply for these should be made earlier and more open for our local artists.

RECOMMENDATION 2

The Childers Group strongly advocates for an increase of an extra $4,500,000 into the Arts Portfolio for the 2022-23 Budget.

 PRIORITY THREE : STRATEGIC GOVERNMENT OBJECTIVES AND DIRECTORATE LINKS

Currently, the arts are not adequately integrated within policymaking or service delivery at a whole of government level. For comparison, there are existing strategic objectives to achieve ‘higher than average participation in sport and physical and recreational activities.

No such strategic objective has been stated for the Arts. Cultural Tourism would appear to be an obvious inclusion given the strategic importance and economic benefits of cultural tourism to the region.

RECOMMENDATION 3

Childers Group recommends that the ACT Government establish links between Government Directorates to maximize Arts Development in the ACT and region. Stronger links between arts practitioners (companies and individuals) , Events Canberra and Visit Canberra need to be pursued with some urgency. Tourism and the Arts are a strong area for ongoing development.

The Government should commit to incorporating clear Strategic Objectives for the Arts and Cultural sector within the ACT Government’s Budget Objectives.

The Childers Group looks forward to engaging with government over our Budget Submission in the next few months.

Yours Sincerely

Michael White

On behalf of the Childers Group

May 2022

 

2022 : A new year begins for The Childers Group and our work in 2021

2022 : A new year begins for The Childers Group

Another year commences and the Childers Group will continue its advocacy for the arts and culture in Canberra and the Region. The last 2 years have been extremely difficult for local artists and we are confident that the arts will once again flourish.

2022

 

  • We have had our first meeting for the year with Arts Minister Tara Cheyne :
  • Areas covered included her Statement of Ambition and the development of a new arts policy (our last policy is from 2015). This process will be driven by artsACT and will include targeted and detailed consultation with the arts sector, KAO’s, education institutions, ACT Business. It is hoped that the process will be concluded over 6 weeks. The Minister’s Creative Council has new members and they will play a strong role. The Minister asked Childers to look at possible vehicles that could assist in delivering her Statement of Ambition ( well received by the arts sector ) with a particular focus on Strategy 3 : Promoting our Arts and Culture.
  • Minister Cheyne mentioned that this year’s ACT Budget will be brought down on 2nd August and urged ACT artists and organisations to give their input through the Have Your Say webpage.
  • 2022-23 Budget Consultation – https://yoursayconversations.act.gov.au/2022-23-budget-consultation
  • We have also met with Jo Clay, Greens arts spokesperson and had a wide-ranging discussion about issues facing the arts coming out of Covid19 and lockdown. Jo also stressed the importance of artists and organisations partaking in the Budget Consultation process as mentioned above. She stressed that the short Budget Survey is an excellent and quick way to get involved.

Our work in 2021 :

  • we met with Arts Minister Tara Cheyne, Opposition Leader Elizabeth Lee, Shadow Arts Minister Lawder, Greens arts spokesperson Jo Clay plus Assembly members : Michael Pettersson, Mark Parton, Peter Cain and Jonathan Davis
  • we attended regular monthly meetings of The Canberra Region Tourism Leaders Forum : https://www.tlforum.com.au/tourism-advisory-forum
  • continued our meetings with Kate Fielding, CEO of A New Approach ( national arts and culture think tank based here in Canberra) https://newapproach.org.au/
  • continued meeting with the Chair of the Ministers Creative Council
  • lodged our Budget Submission with ACT Government for the 2021-2022 budget ( Childers has been doing these submissions since 2013)
  • continued our strong partnership with the Cultural Facilities Corporation
  • continued liaison with Music ACT
  • Childers members have played an active role in the Canberra Artists Action Group (CAAG)
  • Childers members have played an active role in National arts advocacy
  • Lobbied federal politicians around issues with Jobkeeper and Jobseeker programs