How the arts strengthen our democracy

In the countdown to election day, ArtsHub asked three independent artists how they feel their work contributes to our democracy.
a scene from Roslyn Oades' The Nightline where the audience are listening to audio on old telephones in a room with a performer

In an election campaign shaped largely by shouting matches on cost of living pressures, the role of the arts has been markedly out of view. The Greens’ recent announcement that they would support a funding program which would supplement up to 10,000 artists and arts workers’ wages for a year is a welcome sign of their commitment to Australian artists, but the two major parties have so far not shown the arts to be central to their thinking. Although Labour’s recent promise of a new cultural policy should they be elected is a start.

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ArtsHub's Arts Feature Writer Jo Pickup is based in Perth. An arts writer and manager, she has worked as a journalist and broadcaster for media such as the ABC, RTRFM and The West Australian newspaper, contributing media content and commentary on art, culture and design. She has also worked for arts organisations such as Fremantle Arts Centre, STRUT dance, and the Aboriginal Arts Centre Hub of WA, as well as being a sessional arts lecturer at The Western Australian Academy of Performing Arts (WAAPA).