Q and A with Emma Webb from Vitalstatistix

We chat to Emma Webb, Creative Producer of Vitalstatistix about their campaigns leading up to the election in their marginal seat of Hindmarsh.

As part of the Arts Industry Council of South Australia can you tell us about Vitalstatistix’s campaign activity so far in your marginal seat of Hindmarsh? What actions are you urging your community of emerging artists and your audiences to take?

Hindmarsh, a marginal seat in South Australia is held by the Liberal Party's, Matt Williams MP by 1.9% and is located just south of Port Adelaide, a safe seat where we are based. Last year Matt Williams hosted a meeting between thirty or so arts representatives and Senator George Brandis. At this meeting Brandis, backed by Williams, told us we would feel very silly in a year’s time when we finally realised the good service he was doing the arts. A year later, five organisations in South Australia have lost their multiyear funding from the Australia Council. Politicians need to understand that if they do not support arts funding and good arts policy, they will be targeted at election times. We, and the Arts Industry Council of South Australia, have been targeting Hindmarsh with flyers, and encouraging arts organisations to contact audiences and supporters who reside in that electorate. Hindmarsh is home to many artists and arts audiences. We are encouraging voters to consider the arts track records, commitments and policies of all parties running.

What actions occurred in Adelaide on the day of action?

As with the rest of the country, many artists shared stories on social media about their practice and careers, and arts organisations, including State Theatre Company of South Australia, involved their staff in a range of actions.

Can you tell us what happened last week at the Federal Arts Forum SA on June 21?

Four parties spoke about their policy commitments to the arts – the Australian Labor Party (Mark Butler MP), Australian Greens (Senator Robert Simms), Nick Xenophon Team (Matthew Wright, candidate for Sturt) and the Arts Party (Terence Crawford, candidate for the Senate). Despite multiple requests the Liberal Party did not send a representative. There was a great discussion about the value of the arts to Australian society and economy, and the need for an increased investment in arts and culture. There was discussion about a more equitable distribution of the funding that is available. Parties were asked to consider whether a productivity commission into arts funding would be of interest.

We're also saddened to hear that Vitalstatistix missed out on Australia Council funding. How important is an organisation like Vitalstatistix to the arts in SA and to your local community? How can people help your organisation?

Vitalstatistix is a development site for artists. We provide a site for big ideas and intimate experiences, for long-term development and hothouse intensity, through initiatives such as Adhocracy, Climate Century and our Incubator residencies. We work with around 100 artists each year, supporting experimental, socially-engaged and contemporary performance and art. We connect South Australian artists with their Australian peers and we also contribute to the community life of our home and local community, the working class city of Port Adelaide.

You can help us look to the future by making a donation http://vitalstatistix.com.au/donate/

Check out our latest projects at http://vitalstatistix.com.au/blog/

Where can SA artists find out more information on what’s happening in their state leading up to the election?

Find out more from the Arts Industry Council of SA at www.aicsa.net.au.

Arts Matter when you vote on July 2

Source: Arts Industry Council of SA

Elena Carapetis

Source: Arts Industry Council of SA