18 September 2011

Big changes to arts funding under the Loxton response

| johnboy
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Minister for the Arts (and much else besides) Joy Birch has announced the long awaited Government Response to the Loxton review of arts funding.

The ACT Government will move to establish three artistic hubs in Canberra dedicated to visual, musical and performing arts, commence an artists-in-residence program, and streamline arts grant programs as part of its response to the Loxton Report, Arts Minister Joy Burch announced today.

The Government engaged independent consultant Peter Loxton to review Canberra’s arts sector in Canberra, with over 500 individuals, artists and representatives from local arts organisations participating in the review.

The Loxton Report made 118 recommendations around enhancing and reforming arts policy in the ACT, and the Government undertook further community consultation last year on the Report’s recommendations to develop its response, issued today.

Ms Burch said the Government was already exploring the development of three arts hubs in Canberra, with work on the Kingston Arts Precinct with a focus on visual arts already well progressed. Other proposed hubs would be a performing arts hub at the Street Theatre in Civic, and a music hub at the Ainslie Arts Centre.

“Through artsACT we have allocated $100,000 in 2011-12 for a scoping study to examine how to best create Arts Hubs in the ACT,” Ms Burch said.

“The intention of these Arts Hubs is to facilitate the sharing of administration and resources, so that local arts organisations can concentrate more on arts activity and programs. The creation of Arts Hubs will add more vibrancy to the local arts sector by increasing critical mass for a number of local arts organisations, and is consistent with Loxton’s recommendations.

How do our arts tragics feel about this?

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Good to see this didn’t vanish with the departure of Stanhope, who was genuinely concerned with the arts, even if he did let the arts community stagnate in a morass of bureaucratic nonsense.

Also really glad to see they’re taking up the concept of hubs. This has been needed for a long time.

I just hope The Street Theatre is properly resourced as a performing arts hub. They seem to have become very insular over the last couple of years. It is the logical choice on paper, and the expertise is there, but it will require a change of philosophy for them to become a hub for the performing arts community, rather than the kind of wonky spoke they’ve been lately.

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