The National Association for the Visual Arts (NAVA) the peak body representing the professional interest of Australia’s visual and media arts, craft and design sector, today responded to the release last night of the draft guidelines for the ‘National Program for Excellence in the Arts’ (NPEA), by pointing out that they are similar to, but much narrower than the programs already offered by the Australia Council for the Arts.
NAVA’s Executive Director Tamara Winikoff said today, “As expected, the NPEA guidelines confirm that applications from individual artists and operational funding for organisations will not be supported.”
“It is disappointing that instead of expanding support for the arts, the Minster has done a reshuffle which will cause damage to the foundational underpinnings of the arts industry,” Winikoff continued.
NAVA is also worried about the potential ripple effect on funding from other levels of government (state and territory) and on private sector support for the arts. The contraction of Australia Council support will put budgetary pressure on the other two levels of government.
“Transparency and accountability seem to be casualties of the new program with the Minister having the final say on what gets funded, and the option that he can suppress the names of grant recipients. This inevitably raises questions about whether decisions will be made for political purposes,” Winikoff continued.
The NPEA has said that around $80m will be offered in grant funding. NAVA is asking the Minister to disclose what the remaining $25m of grant money removed from the Australia Council will be used for.
At an all arts sector public meeting tonight, NAVA will be affirming its support for the need for all political parties to subscribe to an evidence based non-partisan long term cultural policy, creative solutions to chronic underfunding of the arts in Australia and the value of unified advocacy by the arts sector itself.
NAVA believes that the current Senate Inquiry into the impact of the 2014 and 2015 Commonwealth Budget decisions on the arts will be an opportunity to reveal what will be the true impact of these government moves on Australia's arts sector and the cultural life of the community.
For media enquiries and interview requests please contact
Tamara Winikoff 02 9368 1900
Yu Ye Wu firstname.lastname@example.org 02 9368 1900