Let's Do This

This week we’ve been in Canberra resetting the national arts conversation and forming some important new relationships – and, goodness me, it’s been a big week.

Image: Bec Selleck, the Hon Paul Fletcher MP, Minister for the Arts, Esther Anatolitis and Emma Fey at the launch of NAVA's Arts Day on the Hill. Photo by Irene Dowdy.

We’ve done two full days of advocacy workshops with artist advocates from every state and territory, working with the nation’s leading cultural institutions to present critical insight into Australia’s democracy and how best to engage. We’ve helped inaugurate the Parliamentary Friendship Group for Contemporary Arts and Culture: a big multi-party team of passionate MPs ready to investigate what’s needed to sustain artists’ careers and strengthen the contemporary arts sector. We’ve launched Arts Day on the Hill with Minister for the Arts Paul Fletcher and Shadow spokesperson Tony Burke in a buzzing event at Parliament House. We’ve met privately with MPs from every key party and from every state and territory. We’ve done lots of media and been delighted with the response. And we’ve shared all of this on #artsdayonthehill in collaboration with the nation’s leading peak bodies and service organisations across all artforms – and you.

So it’s fair to say we’re feeling somewhat exhausted!

And yet, there’s lots of good work yet to be done.

To strengthen the arts through policy that’s ambitious, comprehensive and well-funded, we need to think well beyond one political cycle. While no arts and cultural policy has ever survived a change of government in Australia, bipartisan commitments to the work of the Ministry and the Australia Council were the norm until relatively recently. We now have an arts minister who’s deliberative, consultative and works from an evidence base.

Now is the time for us to reset our thinking and reconnect with the people in a position to lead lasting change.

Investing in artistic courage remains an important advocacy priority for NAVA. As we get to know the new parliament and the new minister, we’ll prioritise key aspects of this and more work to ensure that visual arts, craft, design and all other contemporary arts practitioners are supported and empowered through policy that’s ambitious and fair.

And as the intense focus of election year advocacy passes, we return our primary focus to the Code of Practice, strengthening the industry with clear guidelines that make artists’ expectations clear. You’ll hear more from us about the review work in coming months, and in the meantime, our Professional Practice Resources remain your indispensable guide.

Make the most of these final wintry weeks to immerse in what your practice needs right now… The very best way to sustain that practice is together. And if someone you know isn’t a NAVA Member, forward this to them and encourage them to join now – and beat the price rise! It’s our first rise in three years, just a modest one, but one that’s needed to ensure that we can keep offering you the Membership services you need and expect from NAVA.