Time for a funding review of smaller dance companies

Recent funding decisions across all sectors of the small to medium performing arts sector have highlighted the widening gap between what was considered to be 'adequate' funding for these companies five years ago, and the reality of their existence today. While we highlighted the issues in our contribution to the National Cultural Policy discussion paper, we also plan see the Arts Minister, Simon Crean, to again draw his attention to the parlous state of funding for smaller key organisations, especially in dance.

We will be seeking an urgent review of the implications of losing precious infrastructure, employment opportunities, mentoring, etc. when companies lose their funding. We know not everyone can receive the funding they need, but we'll be pointing out that the last injection of funds was the $19.4m allocated in the final Howard Budget in 2007, so an audit of the artistic, economic and educational contributions made by the small to medium companies is long overdue.

After alerting companies to our plans last week, we've been contacted already by two artistic directors who want to support the campaign, David McAllister (The Australian Ballet) and Ruth Osborne (QL2 Dance). The Director of the Music Council of Australia, Richard Letts, is also keen to support it.

We'd like to hear from you too—leave a comment with ways you'd like to contribute, and we'll follow up when I return to Canberra early in December.