On November 17th, 2017, Theatre Network Australia and Tasmania Performs brought together a group of performing artists and companies, venues and festivals in Hobart to explore the critical factors affecting the performing arts sector in Tasmania.
As part of this event, a number of critical issues and problems were identified:
- Lack of recognition of the value of artists’ contribution to the State’s brand and reputation as a cultural leader and their economic input (including foregone income).
- Limited access to funding and other support so as to capitalise on increased opportunities provided by new arts festivals and events around the state– the ‘pool’ of government funding is relatively small and shrinking, the ‘competition’ for resources (from government, business, donors, audiences) is increasing.
- Little informed criticism of work produced and presented in Tasmania, which inhibits growth and development.
- Limited opportunities for creative exchange, especially with colleagues in other states as the costs of travelling are beyond capacity of most artists and companies.
- Because of the poor financial return, many artists lack time to devote to their creative work due to other pressures and responsibilities.
- The costs of creating, producing and presenting work – venue hire, staff, promotions and marketing, advertising, etc – are considerable impediments and mean that artists’ time and energies are often diverted to more practical and administrative than creative tasks.
- Inadequate recognition of the mental health issues faced by artists, exacerbated by financial struggles.
- To date, there has been no opportunity to include childcare costs for artists in Arts Tasmania grant applications (though Arts Tasmania’s new guidelines allow for child care costs to be included in a funding request).
Read the full communique here.