Reform for the Australia Council is already in progress with Arts Minister Simon Crean announcing today that the Council will now have increased responsibility for a broader range of arts funding programs.
The Hon. Simon Crean MP spoke today at the Australian Performing Arts Centres Association Conference and announced that Playing Australia, Visions of Australia, Festivals Australia, the Contemporary Music Touring Program, the Contemporary Touring Initiative and the Visual Arts and Craft Strategy will be transferred from the Office of the Arts to the Australia Council.
“The recent Review of the Australia Council recommended a number of significant changes to the structure and operations of the Government’s major arts funding body,” Mr Crean said.
“Today’s announcement is the first step in readying the Australia Council for the challenges of an arts sector that is transforming, and to help deliver on the goals of the National Cultural Policy.
“Through these programs the Australia Council can increase the access of Australians living in regional and remote communities to high quality productions and exhibitions.”
Rupert Myer, Chair of the Australia Council welcomes the changes:
“This is a significant opportunity for the Australia Council to work more closely with a broader range of arts organisations and with venues throughout regional Australia,” Mr Myer said.
“The regional touring programs have a strong track record in delivering a great variety of high quality arts experiences sought by regional Australians – from contemporary music and circus, to theatre and exhibitions.
“Combining these programs under the Australia Council provides an important opportunity for national overview and we look forward to continuing to work with regional communities and the touring sector to deliver these experiences to regional audiences.
“These changes will provide the sector with a single source of funding with consistent application and reporting processes.
“We will work closely with the Office for the Arts to ensure a smooth transition of program management for recipients and applicants.”
The Government will release their response to the other reforms suggested by the Review of the Australia Council and the review of the Private Sector Support for the Arts as part of the National Cultural Policy later in the year.
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