ACAPTA Newsflash | Gail Kelly | Tuesday 19th May 2015

May Day! The Abbott Government Slashes Arts Funding

The Federal Arts Minister George Brandis has cut $104.8 million, over the next four years from the Australia Council’s budget, without consultation.

These cuts will not only have a huge impact on independent artists and the small to medium arts sector but they threaten to undermine new programs and initiatives that the Australia Council launched this year.

ACAPTA strongly opposes these cuts because we believe that the Australia Council’s key principles of: arms length funding and peer- reviewed assessments are democratic, rigorous, fair and ensure that all artists can access funding opportunities. We need to work together to reverse this policy immediately as this is a direct attack on lthe freedom of expression of all artists.

We Urge you to Take Immediate Action:

Get on Social Media: #FreeTheArts

Sign the Petition:
www.australianunions.org.au/australians_for_artistic_freedom

‘It is deeply disturbing for any Minister to attempt to directly control the kinds of culture produced in a democracy that values freedom of expression. The Minister himself has previously argued that art will always provoke debate, ‘that’s why we have an arms-length and peer-reviewed structure for the allocation for the funding’. What he now proposes is precisely the opposite. it is critical that artists retain our right to freedom of expression’. Statement by Arts Industry on: AustraliansforArtisticFreedom.org

BE PART OF THE CALL FOR DANCE ACTION:

In response to Minister Brandis’s plan to take $104.8 million from the Australia Council and transfer it to a proposed National Centre for Excellence in the Arts (http://arts.gov.au/) we’re calling for our peers and colleagues around the nation to ‘down tools’ on Friday 22 May and join in a mass dance action taking place in all capital cities across Australia and key regional centres on Friday 22 May, 1:30pm.

For this action to have a real impact we need representation from all artforms across independents, small to mediums and the majors.

We’re aiming to have at least 500 people dance in each capital city. It’d be fantastic if our regional peers and colleagues could also rustle numbers (as many as is possible).

The dance we’re proposing is The Fondue Set’s Hoofer Dance. This work opened a season at Performance Space in 2008 and went on to Sydney Festival First Night in Martin Place in 2009.

We’re suggesting people learn the first 1 minute 7 seconds. It’s not difficult choreography and we’re hoping it can be picked up relatively quickly in a lunch break. The Fondue’s are teeing up a dance captain or 2 in each capital city who can lead the dance on Friday.

Here is the link to the current YouTube clip:
www.youtube.com/watch?v=3Q5MDghdbCE&feature=youtu.be (watch until 1 minute 7 seconds)

There is a FB page www.facebook.com/events/1438954146419827/ where we will post the high res version by Wednesday morning.

Details for The Call for Dance Action are:
DATE: Friday 22 May
TIME: 1:30pm

LOCATIONS:
Sydney: Martin Place between Castlereagh and Pitt
Melbourne: Forecourt ACCA
Adelaide: Parliament House
Brisbane: pending either 349 Sandgate Road Albion, QLD, 4010 (Senator Brandis’ office) or King Georges Square
Perth: more detail to come
Canberra: more detail to come (proposed Parliament House)
Darwin: more detail to come
Hobart: more detail to come

Come as you are, from the studio, the rehearsal room, the theatre, classroom, lecture hall, home, office etc

FINALLY: Here are some links which will give you more information on this critical issue:
http://www.theguardian.com/culture/commentisfree/2015/may/13/after-the-budget-shh-australias-era-of-artistic-silencing-begins
http://www.artshub.com.au/news-article/opinions-and-analysis/public-policy/david-berthold/arts-funding-why-its-unwise-to-cut-off-your-arm-248073
http://www.theage.com.au/national/distressing-cuts-to-australia-council-halve-discretionary-budget-20150513-gh0ym3.html
http://www.abc.net.au/lateline/content/2015/s4236080.htm
http://www.abc.net.au/lateline/content/2015/s4236079.htm

IMAGE CREDIT: ACAPTA logo