As well as recovering from the ArtsPeak National Arts Election Debate six months ago, there has been ongoing work: following up with the Australia Council on the Service Organisations Scan (complete, to be released by the Australia Council in the first quarter of 2017); advocating for the arts courses that will be affected by the VET student loans proposal (ongoing); and continuing to voice the sector’s concerns about the impact of the 2015 budget changes. The Executive has also played a part in Arts Front, and is currently monitoring (with great interest) the new initiative for a Myer, Tim Fairfax Family and Keir Foundations cultural think tank.
Arts Front project—outcomes and where to from here
The Feral Arts-initiated project Arts Front kicked off last month with a huge national gathering over three days in Footscray. It succeeded in inspiring the hundreds of attendees (in person and online) to begin setting the national policy agenda for the arts and cultural sectors, and placing First Nations arts at the centre of the visioning project. The project continues for another 3-4 years, and is well on the way to developing a 10-year vision for the arts and cultural sectors. There is more detail on the outcomes and working groups on the website, but the three focus areas continue to be:
- developing shared visions for culture and arts in 2030
- building a national network of collaborators
- planning joint campaigns and actions.
We decided not to attempt an ArtsPeak meeting during the event – it was already a full enough three days. It seems clear that ArtsPeak will benefit greatly from the Arts Front work and will need to play a part in implementing the visions, but Arts Front has a life of its own now and ArtsPeak will be just one network/player amongst many at the table.
ArtsPeak planning 2017
We are still on track to run a planning session in the first half of 2017, to review ArtsPeak’s role in arts advocacy, and prioritise our future work. We will set a time and place to suit as many stakeholders as possible and will design a mechanism for input from those who will be unable to attend. The draft agenda will include reviewing the structural model and membership; considering how we engage with other creative industries (and other movements such as Arts Front), and how we work in partnership with the Australia Council and the Ministry and other stakeholders to develop a program of work for the coming years. We will seek further input into the agenda in the new year.
A new approach—arts think-tank
The Myer, Tim Fairfax Family and Keir Foundations have called for expressions of interest for a new entity—a think tank for the arts, with EOIs closing on 5 February.
At its meeting this week, the ArtsPeak interim executive discussed whether we should be part of any of the proposals being developed. At this stage we are not committing but issued a media release to ensure that the successful entity works with ArtsPeak and the broader sector to build on the work already done (albeit in a non-resourced way!) over the recent years.
We hope that you have a bit of a break over the holiday season, and we look forward to 2017 being a year of unified, strategic and visionary support and planning for the arts!