News: May 2015

Expressions Dance Company performing Natalie Weir’s 7 Deadly Sins

When: 21–29 August
Where: Playhouse, QPAC

Wrath, Greed, Sloth, Pride, Lust, Envy, Gluttony. 7 Deadly sins

Wrath. Greed. Sloth. Pride. Lust. Envy. Gluttony. Plunge into a wicked tale of ancient sin unleashed on the modern world. Spotlighting the inherent frailty and imperfections that exist in us all, 7 Deadly Sins explores the age-old sinful nature of mankind retold through electrifying contemporary dance characterised by Natalie Weir's unique insights into the human condition.

Rich imagery, extravagant costumes and breathtaking movement will pack an emotional punch in this devilishly delicious adventure!

Book now as tickets are already selling fast!

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Australia Council grants programs suspended or cancelled after 2015 Federal Budget cuts

In the 2015 Federal Budget, the Government announced cuts to the Australia Council’s budget to establish a new funding structure called the 'National Programme for Excellence in the Arts'. Yesterday the Australia Council outlined the significant effect the 2015–16 budget measures will have on their funding programs.

'To manage the transition to the new funding framework the Council needs to take the following actions:

  • the Australia Council June grant round, including government programs, will not proceed
  • existing applications can be assessed within the September round, which will include multi-year project support for individual artists and arts organisations
  • the six-year funding for organisations program is suspended
  • the Australia Council will honour the current contracts of multi-year funded organisations until their conclusion at the end of 2016
  • the ArtStart, Creative Communities Partnerships Initiative and Artists in Residence programs will not be offered in the future.'

Yesterday Ausdance met with other peak arts organisations to discuss joint actions and to draft a joint response. We will update you in the coming week.

In the meantime, you may like to add your name to the Media Entertainment Arts Alliance (MEAA) joint letter to George Brandis. Sign the letter here: http://bit.ly/1IOfz6c

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Federal Budget 2015—some changes for Arts funding

The 2015 Federal Budget was announced on Tuesday 12 May. While detail and analysis will come to light over the coming days, the main item for the Arts is the establishing of a 'National Programme for Excellence in the Arts' to support endowments, international touring and strategic projects, with an emphasis on attracting private sector support.

The program will be delivered through the Ministry of Arts, but money is being redirected from the Australia Council to fund it. Minister for the Arts, George Brandis stated 'here will be no reduction in the Australia Council’s funding to the 28 major performing arts companies as a result of this initiative'.

From the Minister's press release:

The National Programme for Excellence in the Arts will allow for a truly national approach to arts funding and will deliver on a number of Government priorities including national access to high quality arts and cultural experiences.

Arts funding has until now been limited almost exclusively to projects favoured by the Australia Council. The National Programme for Excellence in the Arts will make funding available to a wider range of arts companies and arts practitioners, while at the same time respecting the preferences and tastes of Australia’s audiences.

Accordingly, the Visions of Australia and Festivals Australia programmes will return to the Ministry for the Arts after being transferred to Australia Council by the previous government. The Major Festivals Initiative will also be transferred with support for this programme to be doubled to $1.5 million.

The program will also provide $5.3 million over three years for the continuation of Creative Partnerships Plus1 matched funding.

Additionally, following on from the savings announced last year more efficiencies are being required of the Australia Council and arts agencies. An additional $13.2 million through until 2019 is being cut from arts and cultural programs administered by the Australia Council, Screen Australia and the Ministry for Arts. The Australia Council will need to find an additional $1.8 million in efficiencies per year, with Screen Australia looking for $0.9 million and the Ministry $0.7 million this year, and $0.5 million in the future years. According to the Budget papers 'the savings from this measure will be redirected by the Government to repair the Budget and fund policy priorities'.

The Australia Council has noted their savings will be met through reduced funding to the ArtStart, Capacity Building and Artists in Residence programs.

The Australia Council has issued a statement:

The Board of the Australia Council will be giving careful consideration to the Council’s priorities for the next year and beyond, and the implications for delivery of the Australia Council Strategic Plan.

Until the Board and Executive have had the opportunity to undertake these considerations in response to the Budget measures further detail will not be available.

The Australia Council remains committed to supporting Australian artists and arts organisations, and working collaboratively to achieve strong outcomes for the arts in Australia.

News reports and articles

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