Amplify your voice

Image: Esther Anatolitis and Minister for the Arts, Paul Fletcher MP at Arts Day on the Hill 2019. Photo by Irene Dowdy.

Image description: Photo of woman, left, with short black hair, wearing black glasses, black earrings, and red lipstick, speaking into a microphone at a podium. Man, right, standing in a black suit, white shirt and orange tie. Behind them is a yellow banner with the Arts Day on the Hill logo.

When you join NAVA, there are three key commitments that we make to our Members: we will

  • amplify your voice,
  • develop your practice, and 
  • strengthen your sector.

We outline these commitments in our current strategic plan. Can you believe it’s already three years old? 

A great deal has changed during that time – a great deal of that being this year alone! – which makes now the perfect time to revisit that plan. And we’re going to need your help. 

Because the crisis triggered by the pandemic demands that we all do some serious rethinking. 

“You never want a serious crisis to go to waste” said Rahm Emanuel, back in 2008 when he was Chief of Staff to Barack Obama. “And what I mean by that is an opportunity to do things that you think you could not do before… Things that we have postponed for too long that were long-term are now immediate – and must be dealt with.”

It’s rare we get that opportunity where the whole world is telling us the same thing: that now is the time for change.

What’s needed next for the visual art, craft and design sector? What are the structural inequities that the crisis has exposed? Whose perspectives must we centre? What practices must we champion? How best to amplify the voices that create our future?

Throughout the pandemic, we’ve been asking these questions and many more on a weekly basis at the NAVA Advocacy Workshops. We’ve looked at arts issues, policy development, media engagement and political insights as we build much-needed advocacy skills together, working towards achieving a critical mass of constructive advocacy on Arts Day on the Hill. 

This year’s Arts Day on the Hill is going to be quite different to last year’s: the Prime Minister has recently announced that Parliament won’t be sitting on 12 August after all, despite parliaments all over the world adapting to online models. Thankfully, our weekly workshops have adapted to an online advocacy model all year, and our toolkit is full of helpful advice. 

And you can join us – in fact, we need you all to join us! Register here and let us know whether you’d like to join in as an Advocate or as a Media Spokesperson. If you’re keen on the latter, there’ll be an extra workshop in the series just for you. You’ve got til 31 July so head over and register now!

And as that work unfolds, it’s also time for me to farewell you. Because dynamic leadership also requires decisive change that makes way for critical new voices. 

I can’t begin to express what an honour it’s been to work so closely with you all across the past three years. I’m excited about the next steps for Penelope and the team – and I’m incredibly excited about what you’re going to create together.

Let’s achieve that critical mass on 12 August and show Australia exactly what’s possible when the NAVA community comes together to amplify the voice of the artist. Now is your time. 

Let’s do this.