NAVA congratulates Create NSW multi-year funding recipients

Media Release

NAVA congratulates all recipients of the Create NSW Independent Arts & Cultural Organisations Multi-Year funding program, whose outcomes were announced in a Sydney Morning Herald article this morning.

“Congratulations to each of the successfully funded organisations,” said Esther Anatolitis, NAVA’s Executive Director.

“With half of the multi-year funding recipients being funded by Create NSW for the first time, we’re seeing a stronger diversity of organisations represented

“In the visual arts, we’re thrilled to see that Pari is a first-time recipient. Founded just last year, Pari is an artist-run initiative in Parramatta of which Justine Youssef, NAVA’s Professional Practice Coordinator, is a founding director.

“NAVA was one of the organisations who had been shortlisted for Multi-Year funding, and unfortunately, we’ve not been successful. We note with concern that, for the first time, no sector service organisations in the visual arts, museums and galleries sector have been supported by Create NSW through this program. This puts NSW artists at a significant disadvantage when it comes to specialist support and development.” 

“NAVA had been a recipient of multi-year funding from Create NSW since 2011,” said General Manager Penelope Benton. “Without this funding, NAVA could not have employed a NSW-based artist to develop and deliver a dedicated professional development program for artists all across the state. In the last two years, this Create NSW funding has also supported the employment of Georgia Mokak, a NSW-based First Nations Research & Engagement Coordinator. 

“In the last five years alone, NAVA’s NSW-based professional development program has employed seven artists and arts workers to develop and deliver 156 forums, lectures and workshops, in more than 50 locations across the state, to almost 8,000 attendees and participants – plus loads more online.”

Until recently, Create NSW was one of the only state government bodies to have offered a specific funding program for service organisations, investing strategically in creative capacity-building for the state. However, in 2019, Create NSW announced the end of their Service Organisation Multiyear Program as part of a new funding framework and artform board structure

Also until recently, NAVA presented the NSW Artists’ Grants, a NAVA initiative supported by devolved funding from Create NSW. For more than 25 years, this program offered highly impactful small grants for 40 NSW based artists and groups across four rounds a year. NAVA supported 4,000 grant recipients across this period. With the introduction of the new Create NSW Arts & Cultural Funding Program, devolved funding arrangements such as those with organisations like NAVA are no longer offered.

“As a sector service organisation we are deeply committed to nurturing an arts ecology that’s generative, ambitious and fair,” said Penelope. “Each year, NAVA responds to approximately 400 requests per month for advice from artists, arts organisations and others in the arts sector. Demand continues to grow for our artist and sector development work – most acutely in NSW, where 48% of our record-high Membership is based.”

NAVA’s strong, long-term accommodation relationship with Create NSW also ends imminently. Based at The Gunnery since the 1980s, NAVA’s sector development work benefited from the Create NSW infrastructure support program, which draws to a close this month.

“It's been a tremendous few decades for NAVA at The Gunnery, working in close collegiality with neighbour organisations and with Create NSW,” said Esther. “The comradery, the collaborations and the sense of shared purpose that co-location nurtures has created excellent outcomes for NSW. On behalf of everyone at NAVA, I thank Create NSW for their pivotal role in fostering this important chapter in our history."

“NSW commits one of the lowest per-capita arts investment levels in Australia, yet arts and culture are a major driver of economic recovery right now. The COVID-19 crisis is inspiring a great deal of re-thinking and re-imagining of the creative landscape. I look forward to seeing Create NSW’s strategic vision for the state – one that is matched by ambitious levels of investment that recognise and empower NSW’s talented, hard-working arts professionals,” said Esther. “The people of NSW expect nothing less.”