We at ACAPTA would like to encourage our members to support the Youth Arts Qld campaign. Many critical and important youth arts companies including our very own Vulcana lost their core funding recently in the Arts Qld funding shake-up. We do not believe this is the way to build a healthy and accessible arts sector – so please support our colleagues by writing a letter of support.

Please see below an EMAIL CAMPAIGN sent on the 22nd of November, 2013…


Help Us Help YouTH – Join our youth arts sector campaign

Youth Arts Queensland is dealing with ramifications from announcements by the QLD Government of cuts to a number of key players in the youth arts industry.  (see YAQ Funding Announcement for more info on this)

This campaign email contains:

  1. Overview of outcomes following a Youth Arts Action Meeting, held 20 Nov 2013
  2. Minutes from the Youth Arts Action Meeting (view with link as PDF)
  3. Letter Writing Campaign:
  • Why
  • Key Concepts – what are the problems we’re aiming to address?
  • Key Message – what’s our request?
  • Action – how should I to do it?
  • Summary of what we want to do vs. what we don’t want to do

You can see all the info below on the YAQ website here:  Youth Arts Action Campaign  This will help you with sharing the info with your networks and contacts.  Let’s all aim to write a letter, and to encourage our friends and networks to do the same.  We need your help to be champions of this campaign.

We hope all letters can be posted next week, between Mon 22 and Fri 29 November, for greatest impact.

Thanks team!  Coming together and taking immediate action as a united front is really important to make waves and stand up for the youth arts industry and for our young people.

Imogene Shields
YAQ Creative Director

Outcomes from the meeting

Actions the sector has decided to undertake:

1.  Letter writing campaign – let’s bring back the art of old fashioned letter writing…

  • Supporters will be requested to write a letter to: QLD Premier, QLD Arts Minister & Arts QLD Deputy-General.
  • We will also encourage additional letters be distributed to other QLD Ministers: health, education, community, police and community safety etc.


  • YAQ campaign release date: Fri 22 Nov
  • For letters to be posted: within the week Mon 25 to Fri 29 Nov

2.  Collect and share data from defunded organisations & reduced funded youth arts programs on the amounts cut, and what the ramifications of this is/will be.  YAQ will collate and communicate data in terms of statistics, monetary value, inkind support etc (to speak their language).  We’ll deliver this info as a comparison to the amounts cut, and this data will support the letter-writing outcomes and media campaigns.

3.  Social Media campaign – more info coming soon. Join our facebook page if you’re not already.

Letter writing campaign – Why

  • This is based on the notion that 10 letters sent to parliament in the same week will make the issue a ‘hot topic’ in parliament that week.  We want to blow that out of the water.
  • Paper letters have more clout in Government, and they require a response.  As a common rule-of-thumb by government, 1 paper letter is considered to represent to views of 100 voters. We want you all to have the power of 100 people.
  • There is nothing more powerful for a politician than hearing things in your own words. Individually written letters have much more power than people sending a pre-written letter over and over again.
  • The idea of sending letters to non-arts Ministers will raise awareness of the issues more broadly for when they are presented in Parliament, and to highlight the ramifications that will flow beyond our immediate sector.
  • Our work is important. Youth arts is important and we’re not going take these funding cuts in silence.  Although we have been told that the youth arts sector was not consciously or specifically targeted, the government needs to now acknowledge and respond to the wider impacts of their decisions.

Letter writing campaign – Key concepts & problems we’re aiming to address

  • The youth arts sector received significantly disproportionate funding cuts in Arts Queensland’s organisational funding.  Our sector is already under-represented in funding outcomes, and it’s impact and effectiveness is under-recognised
  • The disproportionate funding cuts were made to organisations (and to programs within large organisations) whose core mission it is to expertly and specifically produce arts and cultural outcomes with, for and by children and young people.
  • Investment in youth arts, through supporting organisations that empower children and young people’s ongoing and meaningful participation in creative activities, is fundamental for the future growth and sustainability of Queensland’s arts industry. Under-valuing youth arts through these significant funding cuts leads to a real risk in the deceleration of the state’s arts sector overall progress.  The next generation of creative professionals will diminish, as will our state’s long-term cultural, community, social and economic wealth. (source: Value and Impact of Youth Arts_YAQ research)    Note: statistics re-funded & reduced-funded orgs provide us will help back this up.

Letter writing campaign – Key message. What’s our request?

  • To review Arts Queensland organisational funding cuts to a significant proportion of the youth arts sector organisations, on the merits of the massive ramifications this defunding will have to young and emerging arts and the entire arts sector in the long-term.  We request a review based on the merits of the collective impact that the defunding of youth arts organisations and programs will have to our state.
  • We request a review of the criteria used in the arts and cultural investment framework due to the collective impact (not as a review of the assessment process nor as individual applicant reviews).
  • We request that the department liaises with the sector to ensure work using youth arts frameworks is valued and supported in the future

Letter writing campaign – Action – How should I do it?

Write letters to the QLD Premier to Arts Minister & AQ Deputy-General, addressed to:

Who Contact Address
The Premier of Queensland Campbell Newman MP PO Box 15185
City East
QLD 4002
Minister for Science, Information Technology, Innovation and the Arts Hon Ian Walker MP. GPO Box 5078
QLD 4001
Arts Queensland Deputy Director-General, Kirsten Herring. GPO Box 1436
QLD 4001
Youth Arts Queensland Creative Director, Imogene Shields Please send copy of letters to creativedirector@yaq.org.au

A.  (preferred) Please write a personalised letter, and include this key message in your content:

“I urge you to review the Arts Queensland funding cuts to a significant proportion of youth arts sector organisations in Queensland and the criteria used in the arts and cultural investment framework.  I ask that new funding allocations be established to specifically address the long-term future of the arts sector as a whole.

I believe the criteria of the arts and cultural investment framework need to be considered to ensure it recognises the inherent value of youth arts. Dedicated youth arts organisations have far more impact than ‘youth programs’ within larger organisations and deserve this recognition”.


B.  Edit the letter template and Copy the pro-forma and send this in.

Access Youth Arts Action Meeting letter template here


C.  Write letters to other Ministers with additional content that would be of interest to them (of course, we welcome you to add our own content too)

Who Contact Address
Minister for Health Lawrence Springborg MP GPO Box 48
The arts enable children and young people to improve their health and wellbeing, improves the quality of life of patients and channels young people’s energy in healthy ways.
Minister for Minister for Communities, Child Safety and Disability Services Tracy Davis MP GPO Box 806
The arts enable children and young people to develop personally and socially. Youth arts are a powerful tool to improve social-emotional wellbeing, helps young people transforms themselves and the world around them, and increase civic engagement and pro-social behaviour.
Minister for Minister for Education, Training and Employment John-Paul Langbroek MP PO Box 15033
Arts participation for children and young people improves school attendance, academic results regardless of socio-economic status, improves other basic skills (such as reading and mathematics) through promoting learning how to learn, influences innovative and creative thinking, and elevates career goals.  In a growing cultural economy, we need to invest in young people now so that they can have the ability and flexibility to be creative in an unknown future where the majority of jobs they will hold have not yet been invented or imagined.
Minister for Attorney-General and Minister for Justice Jarrod Bleijie MP GPO Box 149
Children and young people’s participation in the arts impacts social behaviour and reduces drivers that lead to offending, assists with juvenile rehabilitation. Arts participation educates young people and it has been researched that investment in youth arts will reduce the social cost of crime.

For reference to the above, please see this doc: Value and Impact of Youth Arts_YAQ research

What we want to do vs what we don’t want to do


What we want to do Let’s avoid:
Work together with a collective vision, a collective message and united actions Dilute our collective clout
Act quickly and send all letters within the same week Loose momentum
Request review of the sector’s funding cuts as a whole, and consider the massive ramifications of the defunding. Fit within the Government’s repeal process, with each organisation having to apply individually  – we’re protesting the entire process, and in a united way.
Send signed letters – they’re the most effective means of communication for politicians Send emails
Be transparent in this campaign.  (so please send copies of your letters via email to creativedirector@yaq.org.au and we will upload them all in a shared, accessible place). Lose track of the campaign, or of who’s participating.
Encourage our industry friends and networks to support us; funded, de-funded, major orgs, individuals & young people.  This should become a national conversation. Making this an exclusive campaign, or overlooking that this will affect the entire arts ecology.
Be succinct and use language that will frame our discussion positively and professionally.  Be courteous, but take a firm position. Avoid the temptation to slander or use destructive language.  Let’s avoid alienating anyone or creating enemies.
Be considered and strategic in this approach Avoid heated and reactionary claims
Make your story real and personal to increase its impact. Avoid too much industry jargon
For our campaign to be achievable, targeted, realistic and action-oriented, compelling and timely.