#ArtsMatters campaign launched in lead-up to WA election

With Western Australia’s state election looming, the Chamber of Arts and Culture WA has launched a digital campaign to help ensure a strong creative sector.
#ArtsMatters campaign launched in lead-up to WA election Will West Australian Premier Mark McGowan have to jump through hoops to get Labor reelected? The Premier recently enjoyed Fringe World show A Circus Sensation. Image: Facebook.

Performing Arts Editor

Friday 19 February, 2021

On Saturday 13 March, Western Australians go to the polls to elect their state’s next government.

Gambling agency Sportsbet currently has the odds strongly in Labor’s favour.

Indeed, with Labor tipped by some to gain ‘total control’ of the state, Opposition Leader Zak Kirkup warned a Business News breakfast event on Wednesday that such power would allow the ALP to introduce ‘dangerous or scary social policies’ in WA.


Pearl-clutching aside, the Chamber of Arts and Culture WA has used the impending election to launch a new campaign entitled #ArtsMatters.

The campaign includes a new advocacy website – ArtsMatters.org.au – which outlines details of the policies and investment needed over the next four years to help realise the economic and social potential of WA’s arts and culture sector.

‘It will only take a few strategic investments to unlock jobs, value to our community and make WA a more competitive global destination.  We have to start somewhere or we risk losing key cultural assets and the valuable skills that can build our State’s future prospects,’ said Chamber Executive Director Shelagh Magadza.

The campaign encourages WA artists, arts workers and allies to contact their local MP and candidates running in their electorates, asking them to support the state’s arts and cultural sector, as well as the Premier and Opposition Leader.

The Chamber also urges the incoming Western Australian government to do more to ensure WA children access the benefits from participating in arts and creative activities as part of their education, the state’s unique indigenous culture is celebrated and shared, and all Western Australian communities benefit from ambitious arts and cultural experiences.

Among the goals of the four-year framework, which outlines the ways in which a thriving creative economy will help WA diversify its economy, bring the jobs of the future, grow tourism, and support social cohesion, are a number of key recommendations. These include:

  • A policy commitment to develop an Aboriginal art and culture plan to align with the Aboriginal Empowerment Plan;
  • Create a $5 million commissioning fund over four years to support the development of ambitious and strategic projects;
  • Establish an arts education program ($2M over four years) to support access to arts and cultural activities in schools; and,
  • Support an arts/health pilot to establish pathways for artists qualified to work in health programs ($1 million over four years).

While the past year was particularly devastating for the arts and culture sector, WA’s artists and arts organisations continued to deliver and respond to the needs of the communities they work in.

With the support of the government, the sector can also be a vital part of the state’s recovery and future successes.

Chamber Chair Phil Thick said: ‘The Chamber represents members of our cultural, business and community leaders who believe that WA should be doing more to ensure a strong creative sector.  What we need is clear political leadership on these issues – too often there is no plan and no understanding of the potential impact.’

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