A working group of NSW theatre companies has been convened to address arts funding in the lead up to the federal election. This group includes independent, small to medium and Major Performing Arts (MPA) companies as well as Theatre Network NSW (TNN), the peak body for theatre companies in NSW.

The working group has welcomed the arts policy platform announced by The Greens on Monday 30 May and calls on the Coalition and the ALP to match their commitment to returning funding to the Australia Council for the Arts.

Crucially, the platform commits to returning the full $78.2m taken from the Australia Council for the establishment of the former National Program for Excellence in the Arts (NPEA) and current Catalyst program. The working group welcomes this commitment to arms-length funding and the peer assessment process, while maintaining Catalyst commitments.

‘The arts contributes over $4.2 billion to GDP in Australia*,’ said Jane Kreis, Director of TNN. ‘Increased and sustainable government support for this highly productive industry to continue to contribute effectively to our nation’s economy and wellbeing is essential‘.

‘As parties consider their arts platforms we call on them to think of the arts not only as a source of national identity, but also as a significant industry employing thousands of Australians.’ A campaign asking for our audience members to stand in solidarity for the companies they support and ask their local member to publish their arts policy will be launched on 17 June.

This statement is co-signed by the members** of the working group and the executive management of each member company.

For images or further information please contact Jane Kreis, Director, TNN on 0409 814 067,  contact the TNN or go to www.istandwiththearts.com

*Figure from the 2015 Arts Nation report published by the Australia Council for the Arts.

** Members of the NSW Theatre Working Group: 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.


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