#istandwiththearts Campaign update

The same NSW theatre producers group* that got together with a small army of volunteers, arts workers, audiences and communities to roll out the #istandwiththearts campaigns across the country prior to this year’s federal election has been working with new and re-elected MPs to promote the value of the arts. The NSW theatre sector campaign was a huge success for many reasons and others have written eloquently on this subject already (read Lee Lewis’ Remarkable Moment article in The Guardian: https://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/commentisfree/2016/jul/01/i-stand-for-the-arts-has-been-a-remarkable-moment-in-australian-culture)

Curtain Calls were made to over 80,000 theatre audiences across NSW. Over 20,000 electronic and hard copy signatures were collected and sent to the relevant members of parliament. The online signatures portal for the campaign has now come down but is referenced in this STC post june news i-stand-with-the-arts This collective campaign is a huge achievement and as Matthew Westwood commented in The Australian: ‘The arts sector should not lose the momentum and cohesion it has built during the past year, and should argue for sound policy with more sophisticated tactics.’ The theatre sector is indeed gathering collective momentum and 2017 meetings will be focussing on further engagement with government, arts sector, and community on the future of arts in our country. In particular this group is keen to make our audiences feel part of the arts industry and build awareness of the value of this industry through collective campaigns.

This group is not the only one working in this area however and TNN is working with its peers around the state and nationally to ensure that this discussion is driven not just by artists or audiences, but by the entire community.

TNN’s role as a peak agency for NSW theatre meant it was well-placed to provide a central point for the theatre sector’s campaign and is still receiving requests for updates which we will make available in our e-news and through our website and social media. If you have any questions about this campaign or information about similar advocacy don’t hesitate to get in touch.

* Group members include:

Australian Theatre for Young People, Bathurst Memorial Entertainment Centre, Bell Shakespeare, Belvoir Theatre, Critical Stages, Darlinghurst Theatre Company, Ensemble, Force Majeure, Griffin Theatre, Hothouse Theatre, Lingua Franca, Merrigong Theatre, Monkey Baa, Mooghalin, National Theatre of Parramatta, NORPA, PACT, Performance 4a, Performance Space, Performing Lines, Powerhouse Youth Theatre, Redline, Shopfront, Sport for Jove,  Sydney Theatre Company, Theatre Network NSW, Urban Theatre Projects, Zeal Theatre.

The impact of a curtain call, its liveness, its urgency, clarity and inclusiveness is today being felt in the U.S. Cast-addresses-Mike-Pence-audience #istandwiththearts

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