A thriving arts landscape is the bedrock of a connected and creative society. Art is an expression of culture, a means to explore and debate ideas, a thread to bind us in difficult times, a window to other worlds and places. Australia has the oldest continuing cultural traditions in the world, a talent pool of practitioners and resilient art organisations, and a multicultural heritage of stories.
Yet, the decline in federal support for the sector, diminishing investment in the Australia Council of the Arts, and COVID’s impact on the industry all add to precarious foundations for the sector’s future. These factors pose challenges to the richness and diversity of artistic content, which is central to our identities and sense of belonging to place.
With a new federal government in place, the current moment provides a timely opportunity to discuss a new policy imaginary to reinvigorate the arts. How might we reframe attitudes towards the arts in ways that foreground both its social value as well as its economic capital? How do we re-centre the arts as a public good? What reforms are needed to foster a sustainable environment for artists and related workers? What types of knowledge exchange might take place between arts organisations and other sectors to ensure flow of mutually-beneficial ideas and resources?
Fresh debate is needed to imagine a new policy agenda for Australian arts and culture. This panel will reflect on how we can re-nourish our creative landscape.
- Dr Christopher Lin, UWA Public Policy Institute (Moderator)
- Shelagh Magadza, Executive Director, Culture and the Arts, Department of Local Government, Sport and Cultural Industries.
- Dr Catherine Noske, Senior Lecturer, UWA School of Humanities; Editor of Westerly Magazine.
- Jeremy Smith, Senior Producer, Performing Lines WA.