FUNDING CHANGES JEOPARDISE ART FOR COMMUNITIES

Australia’s leading community arts and cultural development organisations have just heard from the Australia Council for the Arts that their six-year funding agreements awarded in 2013 will not be honored.

These organisations deliver projects that strengthen community capacity, using the arts as a vehicle to improve health and well being outcomes. Identified as leaders in the sector, they operate nationally to work with some of Australia’s most disadvantaged communities.

The national body for Community Arts and Cultural Development, Creating Australia, is working with the sector to analyse the full impact of this decision. It is anticipated that the true cost will be borne by the many communities who currently benefit from the work of these fourteen major community arts and cultural development organisations.

With their current agreements, these arts organisations have embarked on long-term partnerships with a range of corporate and community partners. This in turn brings significant additional financial support, which is a huge win for the arts in Australia but it could be put at risk, with such partnerships often contingent on long term funding commitments.

The Community Arts and Cultural Development sector greeted the Australia Council’s new strategic plan with a great deal of optimism. However, the Australia Council has advised that the transition to the new strategic plan will require the major community arts organisations to seek new funding agreements in 2015.

The fourteen major community arts organizations are meeting with the Australia Council on the 4 September. They are working with Creating Australia to develop options to ensure financial stability for their work and continuing benefits for the communities with which they engage.

For further information regarding Creating Australia or the Community Arts and Cultural Development sector nationally, contact Maz McGann, Creating Australia’s CEO on 0438 807 973 or ceo@creatingaustralia.org.au

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