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Arts orgs disappointed as funding reality sinks in – Arts Hub

Arts Hub, Richard Watts
11 Feb 2022

“Numerous Victorian arts organisations are looking at having to budget for a nine year period without any increase in core funding, following the results of the latest Creative Victoria multi-year investment program. 

Nicole Beyer, Executive Director, Theatre Network Australia (TNA) said that while TNA was pleased to see diverse range of artists and groups funded, including the new multi-year funded organisations, she was concerned about the failure to increase funding for many of the organisations supported through the Creative Enterprises Program. 

‘TNA is surprised that many of the existing organisations that have been funded again have not received even a CPI increase in their funding. This means they are on the same funding level for nine years or more, which is something like a 20% cut in real terms. We have heard from many of our member organisations that they are very disappointed, while being grateful that they continue to receive some funding,’ Beyer told ArtsHub.  

‘TNA believes that indexing funding each year should be a fixed policy for annual funding programs. We are dealing with continuing poor remuneration in the creative industries, and slowly shrinking funding means it is hard to keep up with paying decent wages that attract and retain workers.  

‘It does also feel disappointing that we haven’t used the opportunities afforded by COVID to really embrace some radical new thinking. We are aware that there were some exciting applications submitted in both programs by new applicants – but the limits of funding meant that a lot of these just didn’t make the cut. We know what the creative industries can do to enhance our lives, and in this new COVID world we need to generously invest in these industries. Let’s all work towards that,’ Beyer said. 

She concluded by noting that TNA was grateful to the Victorian Government for its investment in the small to medium arts sector, adding that TNA (which did receive a funding increase in the latest round) looked forward to continuing to work with the Government to continually improve how it invests in this vital part of the arts industry. ”

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