NAVA invited federal election candidates across Australia to discuss their future plans for arts and culture, and brief them on our key election priorities. NAVA’s Executive Director Penelope Benton has met with several candidates, with more meetings scheduled.
One of the key takeaways from both the meetings to date, as well as the many who have responded with requests for meetings before or after the election, is that there are a remarkable number of election candidates who deeply care about the arts and are concerned for the future of our sector. Each candidate we have met with or heard from is either an artist or practitioner themselves, has friends or family who are artists, arts workers or academics, and/or has shared pictures and stories about artworks in their homes, offices, or made by their children at school. Others have discussed the benefits of the arts on their own mental health.
The election is the perfect time to meet local candidates to discuss the needs of our sector, especially with so many making time to engage their local communities through door knocking, local forums and pre-polling stations. Importantly, when responding to NAVA’s key policy priorities, many acknowledged that our recommendations all make sense and are part of the change they would like to see in our next government.