Wednesday, November 4, 2015

Paying the Piper: There has to be a Better Way. Platform Papers No 45

Paying the Piper: There has to be a Better Way by Cathy Hunt.  Platform Papers No 45, Currency House, November 2015.

Posted by Frank McKone

The next Platform Paper from Currency House will be launched in

BRISBANE: with Cathy Hunt in conversation with Professor Judith McLean
When: 6pm, Thursday 12 November 2015
Where: Brisbane Powerhouse, Park Mezzanine, 119 Lamington St, New Farm
All welcome. Essential to book at <>

and in
MELBOURNE: with keynote address from Cathy Hunt at the Victorian Theatre Forum and in conversation with Julian Meyrick
When: 11am, Tuesday 17 November 2015
Where: The Coopers Malthouse, Sturt St, Southbank
Media welcome. Contact Nicole Beyer <>

MEDIA RELEASE Monday 2 November 2015

There has to be a better way

As the Senate Inquiry into Commonwealth responsibility for the arts begins its last week of hearings, international cultural strategist Cathy Hunt puts the case in the November issue of Platform Papers that our arts funding system needs a complete overhaul.

In Currency House’s PAYING THE PIPER: There has to be a better way, Ms Hunt argues for a new funding framework that brings government and the philanthropic sector together, new business models and new forms of financing to build sector resilience.

She calls for new leadership to overturn George Brandis’ hasty decision to seize more than $120 million from the Australia Council budget; and shows how the former Arts Minister’s action has exposed the fragility of our national arts funding.

“If the new National Program for the Excellence in the Arts goes ahead, the money that would have supported building resilient organisations will be used to keep organisations compliant and mendicant through the out-of-date, one-off grant process,” she writes.

Ms Hunt proposes a Productivity Commission Inquiry into the entire cultural economy, and a new independent source of policy, research and new thinking. She also wants an end to the distinction between “majors” and “small-to-medium” companies.

Ms Hunt also calls on the Australia Council to step up to its advocacy role, and to seek new authority to negotiate funds for the arts from sources other than Government.

Cathy Hunt is a founding director of Positive Solutions, a Brisbane-based consultancy in the cultural and non-profit sectors. She co-authored the 2008 Platform Paper, A Sustainable Arts Sector, and has written widely on cultural policy. She was also co-executive producer of WOW Brisbane in June 2015.

I’ll post a more detailed commentary closer to the launch date.  The Paper is a complex study of the situation of arts funding in Australia compared with the UK and Canada, reaching positive conclusions for a new approach which could well be of interest to Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull. – Frank McKone

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