The Government plans to redirect $104.8 million over four years from the Australia Council to fund the establishment of a new National Programme for Excellence in the Arts, to be managed by the Ministry. These cuts will jeopardise the vibrancy and innovation of our arts sector and many communities will miss out on access to the arts. It also means Australia is facing the serious threat of censorship in the arts.
On Friday 22 May, we staged a mass action to #FreeTheArts in the Perth Cultural Centre in Northbridge, at the same time as people all over the country took similar action, all in response to Federal Arts Minister George Brandis’ plan to drastically cut funding to the Australia Council for the Arts.
Speakers at the rally on Friday included Kate Cherry, Artistic Director of Black Swan State Theatre Company; Professor Margaret Seares, Chair of the Perth Festival; Kyle Morrison, Artistic Director of Yirra Yaakin Theatre Company; Wendy Wise, Chair of the Contemporary Dance Company of WA; our Executive Director Kerry O’Sullivan; and our MC was Sean Walsh. Audio recordings of the speeches are available – please email email@example.com if you’d like access to those.
We would like to express our thanks for the massive outpouring of support from artists, arts workers and arts lovers alike, plus to all of those who were able to join us on the event. Check out the images of the rally here on our Facebook page.
You still can – and should – do something! Please show your support by signing the online petition, writing to your local MP, and keep pushing for change.
Keep up to date with #FreeTheArts in the media:
– Dance protests draw national attention to budget cuts – ArtsHub, 25/05/2015
– Arts groups angry at cuts – The West Australian, 24/05/2015
– Artists defy funding cuts through dance – RTR FM 92.1, 22/05/2015
– Perth artists join national protest – The West Australian, 22/05/2015
– Shock funding cancellations due to AusCo Federal Budget 2015 arts cuts – ArtsHub, 21/05/2015