Get ready for the next decade of arts and culture in WA

WA’s 10 Year Vision planned to be unveiled in 2024, while new $80,000 grant opportunities and a major build are leading the charge.

The WA State Government has begun the development of a new vision that will map out its support for WA’s arts, culture and creative industries in the next 10 years.

The Department of Local Government, Sport and Cultural Industries (DLGSC) undertook significant consultation throughout 2023, which engaged over 1000 stakeholders in a statewide survey alongside focus groups on key areas including First Nations, regional workforce and capacity, and young people in arts and culture.

The 10-Year Vision, planned to be released this year, is built upon WA’s Strategic Directions 2016-2031 document, which was developed in partnership with the sector through the Arts Leadership Group.

Lanie Chopping, Director General, DLGSC in WA, says: ‘It is vital that WA’s arts, culture and creative industries remain robust and innovative well into the future, with the 10-year Vision providing a vital roadmap that will set the direction and growth of the sector over the coming decade.

‘During our extensive consultation, we have received important input from the community, industry and other stakeholders to create a vision for the future. This will be used to underpin government funding policies to support the sector and ensure the community enjoys the social and economic benefits from our investments.’

New investments and streamlined programs

While the 10-Year Vision is underway, the WA Government has introduced a new Arts Projects for Organisations funding program, offering arts and creative industry organisations up to $80,000 to deliver a project or a program of activities. This runs in conjunction with the Arts Projects for Individuals and Groups program, which offers $80,000 for artists and creative industry professionals. In the latest round of funding, 34 grants totalling more than $1 million were distributed. The next round for both funding streams will open on 23 April 2024.

The State Government also established the Arts Short Notice Activity Program (SNAP) funding in 2023 for artists and musicians. It has since supported a variety of critical arts activities, including Christopher Pease’s participation in the 24th Biennale of Sydney, professional development for Abbey Felton at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland’s Big Guitar Weekend, and more. Applications are currently open for the Arts SNAP and the Contemporary Music Fund SNAP

The Arts Organisations Investment Program (AOIP) has also received increased investment with new organisations supported, channelling a total of $56 million to 37 of WA’s small to medium organisations. Recipients include Fremantle Biennale, Centre for Stories (also a recent recipient of Creative Australia’s multi-year funding), Mundaring Arts Centre, North Midlands Projects Inc, CircusWA and Theatre Kimberley Inc.

Screen production facility to cement WA as key industry player

Another recent announcement is the construction of WA’s new $233.5 million screen production facility to help put WA on the map as a key sector player when it comes to national and international productions in Australia.

The construction will create around 600 local direct and indirect new jobs, and aim to attract more of the $2 billion spent annually on screen projects in Australia. Doors will open to host the first production in 2026.

Lanie Chopping concludes: ‘The facility will cement WA as the place to film high-quality productions, with the flow-on benefits of boosting tourism and diversifying the WA economy.’

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Celina Lei is an arts writer and editor at ArtsHub. She acquired her M.A in Art, Law and Business in New York with a B.A. in Art History and Philosophy from the University of Melbourne. She has previously worked across global art hubs in Beijing, Hong Kong and New York in both the commercial art sector and art criticism. Most recently she took part in drafting NAVA’s revised Code of Practice - Art Fairs. Celina is based in Naarm/Melbourne.