We currently have a unique opportunity to influence policy change and improve the fundamental conditions of working and practicing the arts. Developing a national cultural policy in broad consultation with the sector has the potential to reinvest in strategies that promote a strong arts ecology and support the careers of artists across the country from a range of perspectives and backgrounds. lived experiences. It can help the arts reach more audiences and give more people great experiences by creating art themselves. The policy will be Australia’s first for a decade.
It is up to us to ensure that the whole of the ecology of the arts is heard and that our needs are well represented in cultural policy. The National Association for the Visual Arts (NAVA) and Theater Network Australia (TNA) encourage all artists, arts workers, organizations and networks to submit a submission if you can. If government sees high levels of engagement, they are more likely to invest in the recommendations and ideas that work for us.
Submissions can be simple. You don’t need to articulate the value of the arts or the economic benefits. This consultation is simply asking what we need to move forward.
What would you like to see in an arts policy? An industrial prize for the visual arts and fine crafts? A global framework for young people and the arts? Recognition of art as a profession by Centrelink? Support for First Nations-led education, training, employment and representation in leadership roles and mid-level jobs?
The proposed five pillars of the new policy are:
- First Nations: recognize and respect the crucial place of these stories at the center of our arts and culture.
- A place for every story: reflecting the diversity of our stories and the contribution of all Australians as creators of culture.
- The centrality of the artist: supporting the artist as a worker and celebrating his role as creator of culture.
- Strong Institutions: Providing support across the spectrum of institutions that support our arts and culture.
- Reaching audiences: ensuring our stories reach the right people at home and abroad.
How to add your voice
Make a submission by completing the National Cultural Policy Submission Template or simply write your own document. Go to the website and follow the link to the form and upload your submission as an attachment.
The submission template is designed to be a helpful guide, but not all sections need to be completed. While it is not at all essential that you use the submission template, aligning your ideas or recommendations with one or more of the five pillars above will make it easier for those who read submissions to group together good ideas.
You can write as much or as little as you want and in the format of your choice. The consultation will also accept non-written submissions in alternative formats. The Arts Office has suggested a limit of three pages or five minutes for video/audio submissions emailed to [email protected]
How to submit a quote using the template
- Download the template from the Australian Government website.
- Do some background reading if you wish. The Australia Council has published a scoping document and the National Cultural Policy 2013 is also available on the consultation page. NAVA has posted notes from our recent workshops with the Visual Arts and Crafts sector. TNA has posted our draft submission on our website. You can also read all the submissions that have already been published.
- We recommend adding a sentence at the top of your document stating that you support a national cultural policy. Of course, it’s implied, but making it explicit will help demonstrate broad support.
- Fill in the boxes you wish to answer. The main sections of the template are:
- What challenges and opportunities do you see in the pillar or pillars most relevant to you?
- Please tell us how each of the five pillars is important to you and your practice and why.
- Are there other things you would like to see in a national cultural policy?
Challenges and Opportunities is a good place to list the specific needs you have as an artist or artistic worker. Some of the things we’ve heard from our members include the need for affordable living and working spaces, fair pay and greater security as a freelance artist, and the need for Invest in First Nations-led education, training, mentorship and skills development programs to support First Nations employment and representation in mid-level jobs, leadership roles, boards and indigenous advisory groups.
The opportunities could be new ways of doing things that have emerged for you from the pandemic. For example, the urge for schools to get out there and give students face-to-face interaction with art and artists is huge, but it requires resources for schools and arts organizations, especially local galleries and local arts businesses.
While funding is obviously something we all need, try to keep it specific. For example, we heard urgent calls for more multi-year grant programs for independent artists, fellowships and large project grants.
Lily: Drafting of your National Cultural Policy file
The section on why the pillars matter to you may be where you include case studies. Summarize a project that you think will be a particular success. Or include a failure story and what you learned from it and how it informed other work or projects. Real examples are much more convincing than generalized statements. Make sure the story is yours.
The section asking for other things you would like to see in a national cultural policy can be where you put other ideas that don’t fit in the other sections. For example, TNA supports the inclusion of a framework for youth and culture in the policy. NAVA is calling for industrial reform that introduces an allotment tariff for visual arts and crafts.
We both believe the policy should guide the more comprehensive development of a 10-year national cultural plan that will work across government portfolios to leverage and invest in the civic benefits of arts and culture programs.
It’s time again for us to come out in numbers. Let’s use this momentum to change. Share our stories, our ideas and make recommendations.