Arts Minister Paul Fletcher has asked the House of Representatives Standing Committee on Communications and the Arts, to inquire into and report on Australia’s creative and cultural industries and institutions.
This Inquiry is important as a way to show the value of arts and culture, and to highlight opportunities ahead for the role that arts and culture can play in many areas of life, as the country begins recovery and builds a new normal. The Committee sits in the House of Representatives, not the Senate, with five members of the Liberals/Nationals and three from Labor. Read about them here. The findings will be taken seriously.
The committee will consider the following terms of reference:
• The direct and indirect economic benefits and employment opportunities of creative and cultural industries and how to recognise, measure and grow them
• The non-economic benefits that enhance community, social wellbeing and promoting Australia’s national identity, and how to recognise, measure and grow them
• The best mechanism for ensuring cooperation and delivery of policy between layers of government
• The impact of COVID-19 on the creative and cultural industries; and
• Avenues for increasing access and opportunities for Australia’s creative and cultural industries through innovation and the digital environment.
Full submissions in your own format are accepted, closing on 22nd October, and there is also an online survey. TNA will be preparing a submission.
Read more below if you plan to do the survey or a submission.
The Inquiry’s survey asks 20 questions, including 4 open-ended questions about COVID impact, and opportunities to strengthen the creative and cultural industries. TNA has prepared a Survey Template in word, so you can take time to write your answers and cut and paste them into the online form. If you have trouble accessing the online form, we can do that for you if you send us your answers in our template. TNA has sought clarification on some of the questions, and the answers are highlighted in the template. We urge you to be as accurate and considered as you can be.
Not everyone will want to fill in yet another survey, so TNA will be preparing a submission on behalf of the sector.
TNA will prepare a submission based on our deep understanding of the arts from reports, roundtables, meetings, and from surveys including our 2020 Independents Survey (to be published later this year).
We will highlight the opportunities for arts and culture to contribute towards the government’s goals, for example:
Delivering economic value and future success through their role in child development, education, local economies, tourism and skills for the future;
Building social cohesion through their power to shape our sense of national identity, celebrate our diversity and promote empathy and connection that can bridge social divides;
Supporting our health and wellbeing, including meeting major challenges such as ageing, social isolation, loneliness and mental health. (Australia Council for the Arts, 2020, National Arts Participation Survey).
We will also highlight the opportunity to invest in our country’s creative future through ongoing, sustainable support for the Australia Council for the Arts. In particular, we will emphasise the role that independent artist grant recipients play in innovation and ideas creation; and the role that project and multi-year funded small and large producing companies play in creating and presenting new Australian stories and in engaging audiences in regional, remote and metropolitan areas and of course online.
If you would like to do some of your own research to inform your survey or submission, here are some ideas:
Creating Our Future: National Arts Participation Survey. The survey was conducted in late 2019, so it provides a benchmark of Australians’ arts engagement before the impacts of the pandemic, along with vital new evidence showing the arts are a public good infused and embedded in the fabric of our daily lives.
A New Approach: Insight Reports. These reports explore why and how governments, philanthropists, communities, businesses and individuals invest in arts and culture; what benefits and impacts this generates; and how we can ensure this investment is relevant and effective. They have just released a working paper on the fifth report, which has excellent data to help inform your submission.