They are calling it Black Friday for the arts. In the latest round of Australia Council grants, 70 per cent less artists were funded than from the year before.
In addition to this, a number of small to medium sized arts companies which support artists, including SOUNDS AUSTRALIA, Music Australia and the Australasian Worldwide Music Expo (AWME), lost funding or had it significantly reduced.
Sounds Australia, whose networks and model of showcasing Australian bands overseas at key markets and support for business to business, and AWME, which has achieved significant outcomes and export opportunities for aboriginal, world and roots artists overseas, are short-sighted decisions.
Its internationally renowned work was confirmed this week when it was nominated for two export achievements in the Yearly Music Convention Awards (YMCAs) in Brighton, UK.
If the Federal Government doesn’t support these programs, what is the government’s plan to break down the barriers of isolation and the tyranny of distance all Australian artists face?
And then there’s Music Australia, which has shown wonderful leadership over the last 12 months to unite the music industry to collaborate on a National Music Business Plan which identifies industry priorities and builds the case for holistic Government investment into the industry across government to drive jobs, innovation, tourism, export, participation, and, yes, art.
We urge the Federal Government to take the sector seriously and engage with us. We’ve got the talent, statistics and a plan to deliver the best outcomes for the music industry and country. Let’s get our mojo working!