NAVA welcomes NSW Labor’s commitment to fair pay for artists and calls on all parties to announce ambitious and fair policies

Media Release

NAVA welcomes yesterday’s announcement by NSW Labor that “A Daley Labor Government will work with unions and organisations including the National Association for the Visual Arts (NAVA) to ensure visual, performing and other artists are paid fairly.” 

“Sustaining NSW’s $16.4 billion arts industry and $13 billion cultural visitor economy depends entirely on the work of artists,” said Esther Anatolitis, Executive Director of NAVA. “Sadly, too many institutions don’t make fair pay a priority, and as a result, artist’s average incomes have fallen to below the poverty line. 

“Fair artist payment as a condition of public funding is essential to ensuring we don’t risk losing the state’s leading artists, diminishing our diverse culture and jeopardising the economy.

“The NAVA Code of Practice for the Professional Australian Visual Arts, Crafts and Design Sector sets national standards for the industry and includes a Fees & Payments Schedule that’s regularly updated via industry consultation.

“Ambitious levels of public investment ensure that artists can be paid fairly, and I welcome NSW Labor’s commitment to $100m to double the Regional Cultural Fund and $100m towards an Arts & Cultural Fund for Western Sydney – money that goes directly supporting artists’ work. Additionally, the commitments towards gallery funding and redevelopment will be important in this regard

“I also welcome NSW Labor’s commitment to redressing the politicisation of arts funding and board appointments. Funding decisions and governance work must be undertaken by arts experts at a clear arm’s-length independence from political interests. Right now, many of the state’s key arts companies are urgently assessing whether they can continue to operate, given yet another unconscionable delay in announcing already assessed funding that once again undermines the very work it’s designed to support. Given last year’s delays were the result of political interference, timely announcements are vital to restoring confidence in the NSW Government.

“Taxpayers expect the arts to be funded ambitiously as a public good, and fairly as a public responsibility.

“I look forward to working with all major parties to ensure that NSW artists are supported and championed across the state and across the world.”