Archive | Uncategorized RSS feed for this section

Announcing: Arts Value Forum – July 26th 2017

15 Jun

What exactly do the arts do for us: for our society, for our economy, for our health and wellbeing, for innovation, for education, for self-expression – and for the creation of beautiful and useful things? How do we understand, express and measure the value of the arts?

Leading experts and practitioners in health, economics, culture and the arts will gather in Canberra next month to share insights on the diverse impact and value of the arts in our community.

The Arts Value Forum – 12.30 till 6pm on Wednesday July 26th 2017 at the Canberra Theatre Centre – is being jointly convened by arts advocacy body The Childers Group and the Cultural Facilities Corporation.

The forum’s keynote speaker is Kalgoorlie-Boulder based Kate Fielding, the Chair of Regional Arts Australia and a Board Member of the Australia Council for the Arts.

A line up of twenty speakers in plenary and parallel sessions include Minister for the Arts and Community Events, Gordon Ramsay, award-winning local Indigenous artist, Jenni Kemarre Martiniello, creative sector specialist, CEO and Director of Heide Museum of Modern Art, Natasha Cica, and Kareena Arthy, the new head of the ACT Government’s Enterprise Canberra.

12.30pm – 6pm Wednesday July 26th 2017, Canberra Theatre Centre

Tickets are $110 (full price) and $88 (concession). Please note, the ticket price has been calculated to recover costs of travel, fees, catering, production costs and other event expenses. 

There are bursaries available – see the Eventbrite site for more info.

Tickets here:  https://artsvalueforum.eventbrite.com.au

Arts Value Forum_Flyer

Arts Value Forum program

Arts value forum speakers bios

ACT Budget and Election and the Arts Community takes Action!!

23 Feb

In the days before Christmas last year, the ACT Government announced the lowest level of funding for arts projects in living memory. From around $1.1M in 2005, artACT’s Project Funding category has been reduced to just $300,000 per year. After action taken by the ACT Arts Community the new Minister for the Arts, Gordon Ramsay, announced an additional $230,000 would be allocated to the Project Funding Round and that hopefully 13 more projects would receive funding.

A positive action by the new Minister.

And what has the Childers Group been doing? Well prior to the Project Funding announcement we’ve been busy with the ACT Budget process over the year and the ACT Assembly election.

 

ACT Government Budget Process : 2016 and 2017

Since 2012 the Childers Group has been involved in the ACT budget process. As part of that we submitted a detailed submission to ACT Treasury as part of the 2016/17 Budget process. A request for an additional $500,000 was made, specifically for Project funding.

Recommendation 2

Likewise, we strongly urge the Government to allocate additional funding to the ACT Arts Fund project round in support of projects by individuals, groups and companies in the ACT. The Project Funding category is – regrettably – supporting fewer projects each year due to the increasing cost of delivering arts projects; this is especially true of the performing arts. The Childers Group strongly advocates for this category to receive additional funding of $500,000 per annum over the next three years.

In September 2016, the Childers Group released an analysis ( done by Jack Lloyd) of the past 12 years of arts grants in the ACT and the trends within different funding types. This analysis shows that over this time, stretching over three full electoral cycles, there has been a significant decline in ACT arts grants on a per capita basis, and as a proportion of funds available to Government and this data was presented by Childers Group representatives to ACT Budget Estimates on June 17th.

A link to that analysis can be found at : http://www.childersgroup.com.au/take-a-closer-look-act-arts-grants-2003-to-2015/

A link to the Estimates appearance can be found at : http://www.hansard.act.gov.au/hansard/2013/comms/estimates37b.pdf

In December 2016, the Childers Group submitted another detailed submission as part of the 2017/2018 Budget process.

The Childers Group strongly recommends increased investment in the arts as outlined in our submission. Canberra is rightly recognised as one of the world’s great cities, and one of the most liveable cities in the world. This phenomenal 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.

A key recommendation of our submission was :

RECOMMENDATION 1

The Childers Group strongly advocates that the increase of an extra $750,000 per year for the ACT Arts Fund that was committed to by ACT Labor during the recent election process be allocated in the 2017-2018 Budget.

The 2016 ACT Election :

The Childers Group was active during the ACT Election process. In February, we held a very successful forum at Gorman House attended by the arts spokespeople for Labor, Liberal and the Greens. Just prior to the election the Childers Group released 3 videos on our Facebook page with the arts and cultural policies of the major parties.

The Childers Group (and the sector) were delighted to learn that the ALP pledged an additional $750,000 for arts funding. It appeared our advocacy and consultations with artsACT and government had been successful.

A Disappointing end to 2016 :

The announcement (five days before Christmas) of a 66% reduction in 2017 Project Funding for arts projects rocked the arts community. An extensive advocacy program resulted.

Several excellent blogs and articles quickly appeared:

https://yolandenorris.com.au/2016/12/22/the-big-comedown-canberra-arts-funding/

Helen Musa : http://citynews.com.au/2016/unhappy-artists-rise-funding-cuts/

Katie Burgess at the Canberra Times : http://www.canberratimes.com.au/act-news/canberra-arts-community-shocked-by-unprecedented-arts-funding-drop-20161220-gtf6zy.html

Michael Sollis (convenor) , along with 40 artists met at the Street Theatre on 22nd December and arranged a delegation to meet with the Minister.

Coming out of that meeting a letter signed by 60 independent artists was sent to Minister Ramsay. In it they said :

“Project Funding ensures that there is diverse and vibrant arts activity, and provides opportunities for career and artistic development. Project Funding is also an essential and cost-effective way to inject much- needed resources into a diverse cross-section of the arts in the ACT and to ensure its sustainability. Given only a handful of projects are able to be supported by the Government in 2017, next year is now looking to be an “un-vibrant” year for Canberra arts.”

The Childers Group also wrote to Minister Ramsay and the Chief Minister. In it we said

“The Childers group believes it is essential that individual artists and groups continue to receive an appropriate level of ACT Government funding if we are to see innovative, professional and engaging arts flourish in, and add considerable value to, Australia’s national capital. This reduction in funding is unfathomable and unwise. It runs counter to all the positive goals the government is striving for in outr region. Please consider an urgent review of this decision.

A Positive outcome to the Funding cut

The Childers Group met with the Minister in late January and overall it was a constructive meeting. Many issues were covered. He made a strong commitment to honour the Labor election promises, so we can expect to see the $750k in this year’s budget.

On the 1st February the Minister announced a further $230,000 had been allocated to the Project Funding Round. There is no doubt that the action taken by the ACT Arts Community ( lead by Michael Sollis ) has led to this outcome. Well done to all those concerned.

Also congratulations to Minister Ramsay for making this positive step forward in his new portfolio. The Childers Group looks forward to building a good relationship with him over the life of this Assembly.

As part of our general arts advocacy program for this year the Childers Group is planning to meet with all the new Assembly MLA’s over the first half of this year. We have had positive meetings already with Vicki Dunne ( Liberal ) and Caroline Le Couteur ( Greens).

The work by the Childers Group will continue as no doubt, will the strong advocacy of independent artists and arts workers across the ACT and our region

It’s important to add your voice.

 

 

ACT Election arts & culture policy videos online now!

6 Oct

The Childers Group coordinator, Jack Lloyd, posed 5 questions to 3 of the potential candidates for the Arts portfolio in the ACT. See their responses on our public Facebook page. It’s great to see arts and culture being thought about, discussed, passionately defended, and ideas flying about in social media and in the news. Go to www.facebook.com/ChildersGroup/ to join the discussion, and you can read a summary below.screen-shot-2016-10-06-at-7-42-12-pm

Take a closer look – ACT Arts Grants, 2003 to 2015

5 Sep

The Childers Group thought it was time to re-share this info to sharpen our focus as we lead up to the ACT Election. (Bravo and a big thank you to Jack Lloyd for this work.)

The Childers Group put together an analysis of the past 12 years of arts grants in the ACT and the trends within different funding types. This analysis shows that over this time, stretching over three full electoral cycles, there has been a significant decline in ACT arts grants on a per capita basis, and as a proportion of funds available to Government.

This analysis is drawn from over 1,500 grant entries in ACT Government annual reports, copied and sorted by grant type.

Some of our conclusions at this stage:

  • On a per-capita basis, adjusted for inflation, total grant funded arts activity has decreased from $24.79 in 2004-05 to $22.30 in 2015-16, or by 10%
  • If 2015-16 activity were funded at 2004-05 per capita rates, total grants would be increased by $973,384
  • As a proportion of Total Government Revenue, it has decreased from 0.233% to 0.189% over the same time period, a proportional decrease of 18.8%
  • If  2015-16 activity were funded at an equivalent proportion of Total Government Revenue as in 2004-05, total grants would be increased by $2,012,304
  • Key Arts and Program funding has increased by 40% per capita since 2004-05
  • The number of project and out of round grants for the ACT arts community has approximately halved
  • The proportion of the arts fund allocated to project grants has approximately halved
  • Project grants are around 20% smaller in size (inflation adjusted) than a decade ago

The graphs are available here, the full analysis and notes are available for download in excel format here – we invite any corrections or further contributions, comments, or contact us on childersgroup@gmail.com or through Facebook.

We think this information provides a clear picture of how arts grants to individuals and organisations are being prioritised in the ACT. When we consider the amount of services available to the community, and opportunities available to the arts sector, we see that we are trying to do more with less.

On Friday 17 June, Childers Group members Jack Lloyd and Michael White appeared in front of the ACT Legislative Assembly Select Committee on Estimates 2016-17 to deliver this analysis. We have requested an immediate increase of $500,000 in new funding to the project grant round to arrest the significant decline in this area, and we urge the ACT Government and all parties seeking representation in the Assembly in the 2016 Election to commit to a restoration of arts grant funds to previous effective levels. You can watch our appearance here.

 

CG letter re efficiency dividend

30 Jun

We are sharing the letter the Childers Group sent to Dr Andrew Leigh MP on 29 June 2016. The letter is in response to comments by Dr Leigh in a recent radio interview.Letter to Andrew Leigh

ACT Arts Grants, 2003 to 2015

24 Jun

The Childers Group has put together an analysis of the past 12 years of arts grants in the ACT and the trends within different funding types. This analysis shows that over this time, stretching over three full electoral cycles, there has been a significant decline in ACT arts grants on a per capita basis, and as a proportion of funds available to Government.

This analysis is drawn from over 1,500 grant entries in ACT Government annual reports, copied and sorted by grant type.

Here’s how we’re looking.

[…]

Arts Day of Action – 17 June 2016

14 Jun

Following the success of ArtsPeak’s election debate in Melbourne last week, the Childers Group invite you to be involved in a new lobbying strategy in the lead up to the federal election – an Arts Day of Action on 17th June 2016.

Facts:

  • The arts and cultural industries employ more people than agriculture, construction or mining, and generate $50 billion for the Australian economy.
  • Independent artists and organisations are the backbone of the arts in Australia, generating new ideas and new talent.
  • Our creative industries are innovators for our nation.
  • On 13 May this year 50% of small to medium arts companies did not receive funding because of the government’s cuts to the Australia Council. This will result in job losses across the cultural industries, educational institutions and the commercial sector.

Here’s how you can be involved on 17 June:

  • Share your concerns with local media and on social media with #istandwiththearts and #ausvotesarts
  • Contact your peers and plan your own action for the arts.
  • Sign this petition to restore arts funding.
  • Write to the Arts Minister, the Hon. Mitch Fifield, inviting him to: Fund Culture, Fund the Arts, Change Lives.
  • Vote for the candidates with the best arts policies on 2 July.

ArtsPeak letter to PM

15 Apr

We are sharing a copy of a letter sent to our PM by the Australian multi-arts peak body, ArtsPeak. The letter expresses their consolidated view of the status of Federal Government support for arts and culture in Australia, and suggests some ways forward in relation to recent changes in policy direction. A good read.

ArtsPeakLetter to PM March 2016

Wrap up from pre-Budget arts forum

14 Mar

… in case you missed the Childers Group’s pre-Budget arts forum!

We’ve had some very positive feedback about our pre-Budget arts forum on Wednesday 24 February, with calls for a follow-up pre-election forum later in the year. As one participant put it: ‘It was a terrific night, one of the Childers Group’s best’.

With expert facilitation by ABC 666 presenter Genevieve Jacobs, we invited three key MLAs to give the packed audience their vision for the arts in an ACT Budget context, i.e. show us your Budget policies and let’s discuss them. Dr Chris Bourke (Labor), Shane Rattenbury (Greens) and Brendan Smyth (Liberal) all presented their ideas for a vibrant, culturally diverse and progressive city with genuine interest and passion.

Their ideas were stimulating and in some cases unexpectedly imaginative, although this wasn’t an audience that needed to be convinced of the value of the arts, a point not lost on the facilitator, who skillfully steered the conversation to more clarity.

The terrific panelists were artist Jenni Kemarre Martiniello, journalist Paul Daley, academic Helen Ennis, and musician and comedian Chris Endrey. They raised issues such as greater strategic support for Indigenous arts development, artists’ spaces, a ‘living wage’ for artists, better coordination with national cultural institutions, and, of course, increased funding for artsACT.

None of the MLAs committed to increasing the Arts fund, leaving some in the audience wondering about the true state of the ACT Budget. And questions remain, such as – how can the arts be grown, not only by increased funding but by changing legislation? How can we seek and develop commercial opportunities? How can we use existing resources better, and harness local expertise? How do we increase awareness of arts/cultural benefits across portfolios for the benefit of all (artists & community alike)? Several MLAs also mentioned music as ‘arts education’, although there are five arts subjects in the new Australian Curriculum: The Arts.

We’ll keep asking these and other questions in the coming months.

We hear this was the first political forum in this ACT election year, showing the arts sector can be an organised and powerful force. As an ideas and vision forum, a particularly important outcome was the networking, with more people connected and doors opened to MLAs’ offices (and ears!) – all ongoing aims of the Childers Group.

Finally, here are a few ideas we’ll be pursuing:

A lively city comes from a lively music scene, and a lively music scene comes from a range of accessible venues.

Support for more arts opportunities in ACT schools.

Canberra arts are a part of the region and the region is a part of Canberra arts.

Supporting the arts is not a luxury, it’s essential to a modern city like Canberra.

The main way the ACT Government supports the arts is through the ACT Arts Fund. The last time the Arts Fund received a significant boost was in 2005. It’s time for a top-up, don’t you think?

The arts are key to an innovative and adaptive society and economy – creative jobs are the future.

Canberra’s tourism and developing image as the ‘cool little Capital’ can only exist with strong policies and investment in the arts.

Thanks to all who supported this important forum: MLAs, guest panelists, Ainslie + Gorman Arts Centres, New Best Friend.

Read:
Childers Group forum details vision for ACT’s arts future and funds
Clare Colley, The Canberra Times, 25 February 2016

Stephen Cassidy’s blog: The indefinite article, 25 February 2016

How do you put a value on art, and the people creating it? Toni Hassan, The Canberra Times, 10 March 2016

Letter to PM re the impact of the efficiency dividend on our national institutions

22 Feb

We are closely following the impact on our Canberra-based national institutions by the efficiency dividend. Read the letter that has been sent to our Prime Minister as of today. Add your voice to the conversation.   Letter from CG to PM