Last Friday 3 July, twenty members of ArtsPeak (the confederation of national peak arts organisations) met with CEOs of the Australia Council and the federal Ministry for the Arts in Sydney to discuss the just released draft guidelines for the National Program for Excellence in the Arts (NPEA).
In providing their initial feedback on the guidelines, ArtsPeak members affirmed the importance of all political parties having evidence-based policies to underpin their initiatives in arts programming and funding. They also called for research to be undertaken by the Government into the sustainability of the small to medium arts sector and its key role in the overall arts ecology. They asserted that with the shifting of $110 million from the Australia Council to the NPEA, there was now insufficient funding to support the operations of the essential small to medium arts organisations and individual artists.
Nevertheless, they confirmed that they would be encouraging their constituents to respond to the draft guidelines to ensure that they will provide the best possible opportunities for artists, organisations and audiences across Australia.
“It is critical that all parts of the arts and cultural sector make submissions to the Ministry so that investments made through NPEA are effectively reticulated right across the diversity of the arts system,” said Tamara Winikoff, co-convenor of ArtsPeak.