Arts Minister Simon Crean Announces National Cultural Policy - MusicNSW

Arts Minister Simon Crean has just announced the highly anticipated National Cultural Policy, determining a ten year framework for arts, culture and creative sector in Australia.

The announcement was made at the National Press Club in Canberra at 12.30pm, in which Arts Minister Simon Crean outlined the Federal Governments strategic plans for future investment in the arts. The announcement sees the introduction of the Creative Australia policy, the first cultural policy introduced by Federal Government since Paul Keating introduced the Creative Nation policy back in 1994.

Minister Crean has announced that the fund will be vital in supporting Australia’s creative sector, which he claims is the “core of a modern economy”. The fund is aimed at supporting young people wanting to enter the arts sector-which is why he has introduced the plan to provide Federal MPs with $8.1 million to establish the Creative Young Stars program, and a further $3.5 million to set up a new body called ArtsReady which will provide young people with better access to traineeships in the arts sector. (Artsready will be modelled on the AFL SportsReady program). The policy also introduces a new national arts curriculum within our schools.

“It starts by developing that passion that young people innately have. They have a passion for both the sports and the arts. So we’ve got to find better ways in which we tap that passion early, nurture it and create an environment in which people can go on and pursue the pathway,” he said.

When asked during the press conference how the Cultural Policy will assist young struggling artists, Minister Crean explained that artists seek out funding from the Australia Council of the Arts to help their career development, and therefore the Federal Government will be putting $75.3 million towards a restructuring of the Council. In that, a new act will be introduced within the Australia Council which aims to cut red tape surrounding the flexibility of distributing funds. There will also be an overhaul in it’s grants model, whereby grants will be made more accessible and will respond to new modes of artistic practice.

“The Australian Government will immediately implement structural reforms to the Australia Council so that it is resourced, re-focused and renewed,” he said.

“The Australia Council will be a more responsive funding body with a new purpose to support and develop artistic excellence, distinctively Australian, wherever it is found and across the art forms as they develop in the 21st century.”

Creative Partnerships Australia will receive $8.6 million in funding, elite training organisations such as Australian Ballet School and  The National Institute of Dramatic Art will receive $20.8 million and $9.6 million will be given to six of our countries major arts organisations such as Bangarra Dance Theatre and the Belvoir Theatre.

$3.4 million will be allocated to school leavers and job seekers wanting to break into the creative industries and $14 million over a four year period will be provided to the National Indigenous Languages Policy.

“This is the significance of cultural policy. It crosses so many other areas. It’s the closing the gap, it’s the social inclusion, it’s the innovation, it’s education, but how do you respect a culture and how do you express it unless you invest in its language?” Mr Crean said.

$8.5 million will be used to encourage more investment from the private arts sector. The $8.5 million given to Creative Partnerships Australia is for the purpose of encouraging new methods of raising money for artists such as crowdfunding and micro-loans.

$20 million has been allocated to the gaming industry, $10 million has been provided to the film production and $20 million is going towards luring more foreign film shoots in Australia.

This is a brief summary of the Cultural Policy, so for full details on the policy and what it means for the Australian arts sector, we recommend heading here for more information.

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