Sharpening The Arts | Regional Arts Australia08.01.2014
In June 2013, Regional Arts Australia, the peak body for national advocacy and development of the arts in regional Australia, initiated a national consultation where people engaged with the arts in regional, remote and very remote parts of the country had the opportunity to contribute their views on the Arts in their communities.
The consultation engaged 2,488 participants from over 100 communities, speaking on behalf of 458,522 people in regional Australia. 232 people travelled for 330 hours and drove 27,510 kilometres, at their own expense, to participate in focus groups.
This research surveyed artists, community leaders, local government mayors, councillors, CEOs and senior management, theatre managers and programmers, public and private museum and gallery operators, representatives of community and professional organisations, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander program co-ordinators and participants and youth arts program co-ordinators and participants.
The summary of results were published in December as “Sharpening the Arts”, a publication that gives a voice to regional Australia’s Arts community.
The paper notes that communities priorities have changed since the last national consultation in 2009. Regional Arts Australia has summarised the issues now facing regional Australian communities and their relationship with arts and culture, under five key goals:
- Injecting life into towns
- Engaging young people in realising their creative ambitions
- Connecting regions by invigorating local networks
- Improving support for professional artists
The work has been supported by the Australian Government through the Regional Arts Fund and the Australia Council for the Arts. The primary research was conducted by Anne Dunn.