More money for touring and new work in Federal Budget - MusicNSW

Funding for the Contemporary Music Touring Program and more money for the Australia Council to support ‘new work’ are the key arts-focused initiatives announced in the 2011-2012 Federal Budget.

As Treasurer Wayne Swan handed down the Budget, Federal Arts Minister Simon Crean issued a statement saying the Government had approved “for the first time” funding of $400,000 per year for the Contemporary Music Touring Program, bringing the total commitment to $1.6million over the next four years.

“This program brings musicians to local venues in regional and remote Australia,” Mr Crean said.

The Minister said the Government had, also “delivered on its election commitment” to provide $10 million over five years in new support for young and emerging artists.

The funds will go direct to the Australia Council for the Arts to provide money for the creation of new Australian work across all art forms, including music, and will assist artists to build more sustainable careers.

Mr Crean said this new grants program will have a strong focus on increasing access to and participation in the arts for those living outside major metropolitan areas.

“The $10 million will fund up to 150 additional artistic works, presentations and fellowships over five years,’’ Mr Crean said.

The program will deliver grants of:

  • up to $80,000 per annum for new artistic works, including visual arts, performing arts, literature, new media and music;
  • up to $50,000 per annum for additional presentations to Australian audiences, including to communities outside the major metropolitan areas; and
  • $60,000 or more for fellowships for Australia’s young and emerging artists and mid-career artists.

Artists developing new content for distribution through the National Broadband Network or showcasing distinctive Australian work overseas may also be supported through this initiative.

Mr Crean added that “… finding room for this funding in a Budget that makes substantial savings to return to surplus in 2012/13 shows the strength of the Government’s commitment to support young and emerging artists.”

“This significant investment demonstrates the Government’s leadership in encouraging all Australians to have the same opportunities to engage, practise and pursue a career in the arts,” Mr Crean said.

“Access to cultural activity for everyone, whatever their personal circumstances, background or location, is integral to building a society which fosters creativity.

“Building participation in the arts enriches regional communities and enhances the creative output of our nation.  A creative nation is a productive nation.”

He said the investment in the Arts laid a foundation for a “crucial year where my number one priority as Arts Minister is the development of a National Cultural Policy.”

“For the first time in nearly 20 years, we are developing an overarching strategy to harness the vast creative talents of this nation to be used across the economy at large,” he said.

“The National Cultural Policy will foster a strategic change in direction for the arts sector so it takes advantage of new opportunities through new technology such as the National Broadband Network.

“This is about unlocking the creativity of this great nation and showing the world our vibrancy, energy and our world-class creative industries.”

More detail on the Budget is available here.