Today’s critical moment for the future of our arts and culture
Today NAVA calls on every cultural minister in Australia to implement immediate stimulus, as well as a responsible long-term plan, to ensure the survival of the visual arts and all of our creative colleagues across Australia.
“At 2:00pm today the Meeting of Cultural Ministers will decide the future of Australia’s arts industry,” said Esther Anatolitis, Executive Director of NAVA.
“COVID-19 is the most devastating disruption to Australia’s cultural life in generations.
“All of the ways that we come together to explore identity, search our emotions, find one another, and feel that life-giving inspiration – all of this has been downscaled, postponed or cancelled.
“Artists and artsworkers are seeing years worth of work vanish as exhibition openings and festivals are cancelled, galleries close, residencies are withdrawn, talks and workshops are abandoned, and all next jobs are entirely in jeopardy. Each of these engagements represents a career culmination for everyone involved. We’ve never seen anything like this.
“NAVA continues to assess the impacts on our sector. To date, a total loss of $27.6m has been reported, affecting 10,690 artists and 309 small-to-medium organisations via a whopping 5,418 event cancellations.”
“Following five years of funding cuts, on top of summer’s fires, floods and storms, this disruption comes at the most vulnerable time that the industry has ever experienced.
“Sensitive industry discussions indicate that mental health is at a flashpoint. It’s not just careers on the line and companies on the brink – lives are in danger. Peak bodies across all artforms are warning that the industry is now on the brink of collapse.
“The stimulus required is of a massive scale. We're talking close to a billion dollars to ensure that the entire industry not only remains viable – but is ready to inspire us as soon as possible.
“98% of Australians regularly engage with the arts and 100% of Australians are now bereft of the artists and the works that create our world. Now is the time for our ministers to work together more ambitiously than ever.
“There’s no time to be lost.”
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