Rather than just post this announcement, I thought I’d take a few moments to consider where in this week’s conversations this is sitting for Theatre Network NSW and our members.

We know there is a lot of talk in the sector about how to secure funding for a stronger performing arts sector. Suggestions range from major reform to minor tweaks. The reality however is that there is simply too little funding to go around. And ultimately it is the Australian people that miss out.

The arts in our country have consistently been strong in speaking out while also offering solutions both collectively and individually. TNN is sensing anger, disillusionment, and exhaustion combined with indefatigable hope, creative spirit and a desire to be the best we can be.

As I reflect on conversations around the framework from this week this fabulous Howlround article ‘Embracing The Canoe’ keeps surfacing (the metaphor continues). Our water-locked nation needs both cruise liners, canoes, water-taxies, ferries, tug-boats and everything in between so that our communities, now and into the future, have a full diversity of performing arts opportunities.

Perhaps the issue here is not the Major Performing Arts Framework per se but rather that it is not properly embedded within an overall Performing Arts Framework, within an Arts Framework, within a bi-partisan Arts Policy. Perhaps not. Rather than end up like the Titanic, let’s think laterally and have our say. We should also encourage industry experts from other fields and arts industries from other nations to have a say too.

At the Meeting of Cultural Ministers in September 2018, Ministers noted: ‘the important contribution of the Major Performing Arts (MPA) sector, as part of an ecology that also includes small-to-medium companies, to the development of the arts in Australia, and agreed to the release of a national consultation paper in the near future. Ministers also agreed that, following consultation, they will consider proposed enhancements to the MPA Framework out of session by early 2019’.

In 2018, Officials have undertaken research and preliminary consultations with the MPA companies. In addition, the Department of Communications and the Arts delivered an online survey with the arts sector and broader community, to canvas views on strengthening the MPA Framework.

Feedback received from MPA companies and the wider sector indicates there is support for changed arrangements.  The consultation contributed to the identification of opportunities to create an enhanced framework to better support Australia’s arts ecology.

How you can contribute –

There are two ways that you can respond to the Consultation Paper:

Attend a forum: A series of forums across the nation in October and November 2018.

Make a submission: Provide a written submission responding to the Consultation Paper, by following the Source link (below). Submissions will close at 5:00pm on Monday 26 November 2018.

Source: Major Performing Arts Framework – Australia Council

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