Fixing arts funding?

johnboy 7 September 2009 6

Late last week Mr Stanhope announced that he’s getting the former Head of ABC Radio, Peter Loxton, to review arts funding in the ACT.

    The reviewwill include research into best-practice arts policy from around Australia and overseas, as well as working with the local ACT arts community to review the current policy and its implementation to date.

    Mr Stanhope said that the review will be both practical and strategicin nature andwill include consideration of all public sector support for the arts.

    “A number of different consultation mechanismswith both key stakeholders and the broader community will be used throughout the process, and anew arts strategywill subsequently be released in 2010. The review and its findings will continue to reflect the ACT Government’s commitment to and investment in the arts in Canberra,” Mr Stanhope said.

    Further information and details of how you can get involved are available at

There are some sacred cows out there mildly concerned one would imagine.

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6 Responses to Fixing arts funding?
damien haas damien haas 12:39 pm 09 Sep 09

welcome to the world of act alp ‘consultation’.

TheObserver TheObserver 10:22 am 09 Sep 09

I-filed – this review is following the only rule of an inquiry: Don’t hold one unless you know what it is going to say.

Jon Stanhope’s main contribution to the Arts is buying his kids some colour textas. And they wouldn’t know a Fringe if it got them in the eyes.

sepi sepi 8:44 am 09 Sep 09

Pommy bastard said :

Pay per view?

Sure – keep the poor away from the arts.

And make sure no new artists or art forms ever sprout up.

I-filed I-filed 9:52 pm 08 Sep 09

Check out the timing posted on the website. According to the timeline, the “consultation stage” is already under way. It says they will post detail as the consultation progresses. There is none. Now there is about six weeks left to achieve this consultation stage, and it includes two weeks of school holidays. So, how is “consultation with the broader arts sector” going to happen by end October? They would need to allow the last fortnight of that for the consultant to synthesise, sort and prepare input for testing in the next stage. And a fortnight for advertising that the consultation is happening. That leaves a maximum 10 working days, folks, for this consultancy to get all of Canberra’s arts community to contribute. There would have to be quite a big and well-resourced team to achieve that.

Further points: how is the consultant planning to reach discrete arts segments with that timing: young musicians. Indigenous arts practitioners. Disabled arts practitioners. Mentally ill arts practitioners.

The timeline nominates “8 weeks” over November and December, including the Christmas period, for testing and community (as opposed to stakeholder) consultation. How are they going to conduct a full eight weeks if three weeks of that is the silly season?

They have carefully allowed “just January” for the initial development of the document. There are effectively, what, around 10 or 12 working days available in January, and presumably there is editing, typesetting, proofing and possibly printing involved, even for the draft stage.

Having made a nonsense of the initial consultations, they will have EXACTLY the shape and limitations they want on the draft document, and yes, no doubt they will manage a fulsome, highly communicated and publicised “faux consultation” on a tightly framed and strategically limited document for the stated February/March.

It does beg the question: why is the early consultation stage of this strategy so ridiculously tight, given that the Government has allowed a very handy at least six months throughout the second half of 2010 in order to time a release.

A textbook Hollow Men exercise.

September – October 2009: Consultation with key stakeholders and broader arts sector

November – December 2009 (8 weeks minimum): Testing and community consultation on ideas put forward by independent consultant

January 2010: Drafting of new arts strategy

February – March 2010(8 weeks minimum): Consultation with key stakeholders and community on draft arts strategy

Mid 2010: Finalisation of arts strategy

Mid 2010: Government approval process of new arts strategy

Mid to late 2010: Release of new arts strategy

Pommy bastard Pommy bastard 5:13 pm 08 Sep 09

Pay per view?

TheObserver TheObserver 4:24 pm 08 Sep 09

A good start would be to keep petty politics and bureaucracy out of it. There should be a focus on accountability and transparency but without the attendant bloody minded red tape and risk averse ‘legalities’ and all the other bumf that flies in the face of any real commitment to the arts.

It might be worth considering the time and resources that under current arrangements are required to put into a grant application and acquittal – or indeed navigate through the administrivia and legal waffle that characterises most of the documentation that the pettifogging pen-pushers insist is absolutely necessary.

He might wish to look at current accountability arrangements to ensure that the cake is not only sliced equitably but be seen to be sliced equitably.

….and you could get me in the Phoenix after 3 pints and I’ll tell you how I REALLY feel.

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