Have your say on the arts budget


imageAs you may already be aware, the Federal Government’s cuts to arts funding have raised more than just eyebrows and we let you know recently how we felt about that.

Members of the literary community and the arts sector as a whole are understandably concerned about the impact of a $104.8m cut of funding from the Australia Council, to be redirected to a new National Programme for Excellence in the Arts (NPEA), which would then be managed directly by the staff of the Ministry for the Arts.

As a result of the sector and community response, the issue has been referred to the Legal and Constitutional Affairs References Committee for a Senate inquiry.

Here at Peril we are deeply concerned about a move of away from support to emerging and independent artists and small to medium organisations, a move that we believe will disproportionately affect non-dominant forms of Australian culture and culture making.

If you’d like to show your support to Australia’s diverse arts culture, then we would love to ask you to make a submission to the Senate Inquiry by Friday 17 July 2015.

As the crew at Writers Victoria have outlined, your submission can take any form: written, illustrated, audio, video etc. If you have already written a letter or contributed to the #FreeTheArts campaign, that can also form the basis of your submission. Here’s some tips to get you started.

  • Read the Inquiry Terms of Reference. You can choose to address all of the terms or just those that affect you most.
  • Look at examples of other submissions
  • Copy and paste from Writers Victoria’s draft submission or consider the specific points of the draft Peril submission (below0 or write/draw/record your own. This could include:
    • Your credentials or connection to the sector (for example, as an independent writer, artist or arts-worker, representative of an organisation, reader, participant or audience member, educator, etc).
    • Your thoughts on the Federal Government’s arts funding cuts in the 2014 and 2015 Budgets.
    • Your personal experience of Federal arts funding and/or how engagement in the literary sector or arts world has benefited you in general.
    • The potential impact of these budget decisions on you and your work, the broader literary sector or arts community.
  • Send your submission by Friday Friday 17 July to [email protected](link sends e-mail) or post to: Committee Secretary, Senate Legal and Constitutional Affairs Committee, PO Box 6100, Parliament House, Canberra ACT 2600
  • Spread the word. It’s important that people within and outside of the arts sector contribute to the inquiry. Tell your friends and family that this issue is important to you, ask them to sign the online petition or make their own submission. Or you can join the conversation on Twitter or Facebook using the #FreeTheArts hashtag.

If you want to take it further, you can send a copy of your submission to your local Federal MP, Mark Dreyfus, Senator Brandis, the Prime Minister and your local newspaper.

You can also provide feedback on the draft guidelines for the new National Programme for Excellence(link is external). Submissions are due by Friday 31 July.

Author: Eleanor Jackson

Eleanor Jackson is a Filipino Australian poet, performer, arts producer and community radio broadcaster. Eleanor Jackson is a former Editor in Chief and Poetry Editor of Peril and currently Chair of the Board.

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