Arts Policy

NAVA’s vision for the sector is for a comprehensive approach to arts policy bolstered by clear and enforceable industry standards. 

No document expresses a nation’s cultural confidence more clearly than its arts policy. A national arts policy would make a public commitment to empowering artists to develop their practice, make work and reach audiences. It recognises and celebrates the risks artists take in creating, interpreting and challenging our culture. It sets out all of the means that government has to stimulate this work, without privileging the artforms and platforms that would prescribe the work. As the articulation of a framework designed to inspire unintended consequences with confidence, an arts policy is a statement of what government is for: facilitating the creation of our culture. 

1. Industry standards

1.1. The Code of Practice for the Professional Australian Visual Arts, Craft and Design Sector ("the Code") is recognised and enforced as Australia's comprehensive set of industry standards for the contemporary arts. 

1.2. The Code is a primary resource for arts, culture and creative industries policy-makers at all levels of government.

2. First Nations

2.1. First Nations self-determination is facilitated by supporting a national body with the autonomy and expertise to advise governments, consult on current and future needs, and determine areas of focus and priority.

3. Artist rights

3.1. The Fake Art Harms Culture campaign results in enforceable standards that shut down the market of fake Indigenous art that misappropriates and exploits the stories, imagery, knowledge and heritage embodied in authentic works.
3.2. The current 'fair dealing' regime is retained to ensure that intellectual property creators' financial and moral rights are protected against abuse. A 'fair use' system, which has caused loss of rights for creators in other countries, is not adopted.
3.3. Copyright, design registration and patent legislation provides an accessible and affordable regime of protection for craftspeople and designers against unauthorised use or replication of their work and exploitation of their ideas.

4. Artist income

4.1. Artists are paid a fee for all of their work - whether by commission, loan, workshop presentation or any means. All levels of government enforce the payment of artists' fees. Public funding for arts organisations is contingent upon payment of artists for their work. The fair payment of fees to artists take the minimum recommended rates specified in the Code as their starting point.
4.2. Rather than eschewing arts policy in favour of an emergent portfolio career and gig economy, arts policy recognises the role of the artist in leading entrepreneurial modes of working, and policies across all relevant portfolios protect and promote artists' incomes, super, leave entitlements etc. 
4.3. Tax incentives promote the purchase of work by living Australian artists. 
4.4. All philanthropic art prizes, awards and government grants are tax exempt. 
4.5. Artists engaged in the creation of new work for exhibition or publication have their profession as an artist recognised by Centrelink, building their capacity to earn an income from their work, and not jeopardising any payment of benefits if one-off grants or awards are earned by the artist.  
4.6. The Artists Resale Royalty regime continues without any diminution of its benefits paid to artists.
4.7. The Superannuation Guarantee (Administration) Act 1992 (Cth) is amended to change the word "display" to "exhibition" in Section 12(8)(a), expanding definitions to align with contemporary standards. Paragraph 84 of SGR 2005/1 is deleted to remove the anachronistic ruling that a painter does not perform or present an exhibition. 
4.8. Superannuation fund regulations are amended to end the requirement that artworks are stored unseen when their purchase makes an investment in a Self-Managed Super Fund, thereby making it permissible for artworks of value and significance to be exhibited and enjoyed by the public. 

5. Artist self-organisation

5.1. Artist-run initiatives are recognised as innovators in business model development.

5.2. Affordable space for artists is included in urban and regional master planning. 
5.3. A Percent for Art scheme mandates a proportion of space for artists' subsidised working and living in every major development.
5.4. The independent or small-to-medium arts sector is recognised as the engine room for the arts. Policies that promote and foster the arts ecology prioritise the strengthening of this sector. 
5.5. Service organisations implement policy priorities in ways unmatched by government and are able to access dedicated funding that recognises this key industry development partnership. 
5.6. Alternate regulatory pathways are identified explicitly in arts policies so as to allow creative innovation across portfolio areas as artists explore and extend their practice.  
5.7. The 'Renew Australia' model is adopted as a key urban, suburban and regional development tool by all local councils and shires. 

6. Fostering the Australian culture

6.1. Australia's cultural diversity is reflected in collections, exhibitions and presentation opportunities. Public funding for arts organisations is contingent upon a commitment to policies which promote cultural diversity. 
6.2. Artists and audiences with disability have the same level of access to arts programs enjoyed by all Australians. Public funding for arts organisations is contingent upon a functioning Disability Action Plan.
6.3. Gender disparities in fees, opportunities and representation are overcome through policy and regulation. Public funding for arts organisations is contingent upon enforceable policies and programs at each funded organisation for redressing disparity. 
6.4. All discrimination against LGBTQIA* Australians ends, and all relevant government departments collect demographic information that allow for strategic program planning that addresses LGBTQIA* artists. 
6.5. The key artforms (dance, drama, media arts, music, visual arts and design) are core and mandatory in the national curriculum for all children at all levels. Secondary schools are properly resourced with specialist arts teachers.
6.6. All arts and creative courses at TAFE and Universities are eligible for student loans such as Fee Help and student support payments such as Youth Allowance. 
6.7. Artist in Schools programs are widespread and provide each school with a continuing artists residency program.

7. National arts policy

7.1. The Australian Government adopts a set of strategies for fostering the arts and facilitating the creation of Australian culture, and articulates these into funding and programs. 
7.2. The arts is embedded at all levels of education - not only as curriculum content but also as a mode of delivery of curriculum across all subjects.
7.3. The public duty of charitable organisations with Deductible Gift Recipient status is protected and celebrated. Public advocacy for the public good is welcomed by the Australian Government as enriching the public sphere. 
7.4. All recommendations from the Senate Inquiry into the Impact of the 2014 and 2015 Commonwealth Budget decisions on the Arts are implemented, with a priority on evidence-based arts policies and public funding at appropriate levels, taking the 2013 level as a baseline.