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Adelaide hearing on arts funding fears


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Members of South Australia’s arts community will air their concerns over federal funding changes at a Senate Inquiry public hearing in Adelaide this Friday.

A Free the Arts event, part of a national protest campaign launched in response to the changes, will also be held at the Adelaide Festival Centre tomorrow at 5pm.

The Senate Inquiry was initiated after Federal Arts Minister George Brandis’s decision to take $105 million over four years from the Australia Council’s arts budget to create a new National Program for Excellence in the Arts (NPEA).

“Arts Industry Council of South Australia lobbied hard for a public hearing and we are pleased to have the opportunity to speak about the issues affecting independent artists and the small to medium arts sectors who have been affected by changes to funding in the most recent federal budget,” AICSA chair Gail Kovatseff said today.

Senator Brandis has been accused of alienating much of Australia’s arts community with his funding changes, with some in the sector calling for new Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull to sack him and take over the portfolio himself.

More than 2200 submissions have been received nationally by the Senate Inquiry, with most of them critical of the planned National Program.

The Arts Industry Council of South Australia wants the $105 million funding returned to the Australia Council, arguing that Brandis’s planned program will have a “catastrophic impact” on the small to medium sector and individual artists.

It also takes issue with the fact that the NPEA will not be subject to the same “peer-reviewed, arm’s length methodology” as the Australia Council.

Friday’s public hearing will be chaired by Senator Glenn Lazarus and take place at the Conference Room, Quest on Franklin. A program for the day has not yet been released.

Among those invited to give evidence to the Senate Committee are representatives from the Arts Industry Council of SA, Country Arts SA, Brink Productions, Windmill Theatre, Festivals Adelaide, Nexus Arts, Vitalstatistix and the State Theatre Company.




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