Creating a national arts plan

How can we get to a shared national plan for the arts? Kate Fielding, CEO of A New Approach, explains why now is the perfect time to think about the bigger policy picture.

Could COVID-19 open up the possibility of a truly national approach to the arts? Although the pandemic has impacted artists and audiences, there are some who argue that now is the time to re-think arts policy. For A New Approach CEO Kate Fielding it seems like the ideal time to start a bigger cultural conversation.

‘Obviously the arts and cultural sector has been disproportionately affected by the current pandemic, and this impacts on the opportunities available for the Australian public. Across the country there’s an appetite for change,’ she said.

To drive this conversation, A New Approach has recently published its insight paper, Imagining 2030: Preparing for a National Arts, Culture and Creativity Plan, which draws inspiration from unlikely sources including the existing Federal plans for sport, agriculture, innovation and tourism.

Amid conversations about how local, state and federal governments should collaborate on cultural policy, Fielding perceives a national need to come together. ‘We are seeing that many different stakeholders are considering and discussing what needs to change to help shape a rich cultural life that emboldens us all and meets the needs of the Australian public in the 21st century,’ Fielding told ArtsHub.

Register now for the Preparing for a National Arts, Culture and Creativity Plan

Fielding presented to the Parliamentary Inquiry into the Arts drawing on A New Approach’s research into what middle Australians really think about the arts. Explaining the data, she said: ‘This cohort, the middle Australia cohort, absolutely think that arts, culture and creativity is an essential part of being Australian; in fact, an essential part of being human.’

Fielding made the point to politicians that many this cohort included ‘swing voters in predominantly marginal Federal electorates in predominantly regional and suburban communities’.

For a national arts plan to be successful there needs to be input from the sector. In Imagining 2030, A New Approach is asking arts organisations to think about a number of key questions: 

  • What does ‘relevance’ and ‘significance’ mean in different places and communities in the 21st century?
  • What do I think the purpose of public (government) funding is?
  • How should a Plan reflect the changing demographic makeup of Australia?
  • How should a Plan enable cultural and creative industries, institutions and individuals to be more productive in the future?

In collaboration with Creative Victoria, ArtsHub is presenting the webinar Preparing for a National Arts, Culture and Creativity Plan, the latest in our Recovery Roadmap webinar series. Featuring A New Approach CEO Kate Fielding, this webinar will look at how the sector can contribute and participate in the bigger discussion.

Book now for the free webinar Preparing for a National Arts, Culture and Creativity Plan, 1.30pm 29 June. The recovery Roadmap webinars are a collaboration with Creative Victoria.

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