Discussion around arts policy has been hot in recent weeks among Victoria’s arts leaders. Diverse minds are coming together to reimagine and reclaim this state of the arts. How best to make an arts policy that’s right for Victoria right now? So much great thinking to be done.

Recently I wrote a piece for the Meanjin arts policy blog on what arts policy is good for:

Arts policy is a government’s most provocative platform: it’s the place for bold confidence, sophisticated strategy and, of course, great vision…

Artists love constraints. The blank page can be terrifying; the blank canvas mortifying. Experimental artists constantly seek that set of constraints that will provoke their best work. Artists working within centuries-old artform traditions seek to make original contributions that honour those traditions, while enriching them through their contributions. Arts organisations are all about the frameworks that enable new thinking, new work, new audiences.

An arts policy says to artists: We believe in your vision and your talents. We want your audacity to power our culture with confidence…”

Following this week’s Arts Industry Council of Victoria discussion, my 2012 arts organisations investment policy schema has been a popular read. Here it is again for further discussion, in the context of some of my past work in arts advocacy. Reading it back after a couple of years, it still remains coherent as a schema that readily articulates into a policy framework. The categories that I proposed for the funding of organisations – Creators and Curators, Cultural Partners, Industry Development Partners and Industry Service Organisations – double up as a way of understanding the reasons why the arts are publicly funded.

Over the coming months, look out for a lot more public discussion on the policy frameworks that stimulate creativity and sustain the arts across the state.

Proposed categories for funding arts organisations: a response to Arts Victoria’s 2012 consultation


IMAGE: Easels await you at Arc Yinnar Centre for Creativity and Contemporary Arts. Photo by Esther Anatolitis.