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Reform of the Australia Council begins

Arts Minister Simon Crean today announced the Australia Council for the Arts will have increased responsibility for a broader range of arts funding programs in the first steps of reforming the Council.

Speaking at the Australian Performing Arts Centres Association Conference, Mr Crean said that Playing Australia, Visions of Australia, Festivals Australia, the Contemporary Music Touring Program, Contemporary Touring Initiative and the Visual Arts and Craft Strategy will transfer to the Australia Council from the Office for the Arts.

“The recent Review of the Australia Council recommended a number of significant changes to the structure and operations of the Government’s major arts funding body,” Mr Crean said.

“Today’s announcement is the first step in readying the Australia Council for the challenges of an arts sector that is transforming, and to help deliver on the goals of the National Cultural Policy. Read more

Public art unveiled in Lismore

Lismore City Council and Lismore Regional Gallery last month erected two new public works of art in July - a large mural by Aboriginal artist Karla Dickens will overlook Goonellabah Sports and Aquatic Centre plus the skatepark and an intricate mosaic by Scott Harrower in Spinks Park pays tribute to the rich traditions and contributions of local Italian migrants. Read more

Stocktake of regional research by Regional Australia Institute

The Regional Australia Institute (RAI) is undertaking a stocktake of regional research to catalogue existing research on regional issues. The research is being gathered to build an information database that will connect policy makers, researchers, community leaders and other stakeholders with research on regional Australia. Read more

2012 SIPCA Winner Avan Yu to headline this year’s Tyalgum Festival of Classical Music

The 21st anniversary Tyalgum Festival of Classical Music will be held from 7 – 9 September 2012 and will open with a performance by Canadian pianist Avan Yu, winner of the 2012 Sydney International Piano Competition with audiences having the opportunity to meet Avan following the Friday night concert. Only in The Tyalgum Community Hall has excellent acoustics that will enable audiences to experience his recital with intimacy, immediacy, warmth and richness of sound, thanks to the venue’s perfect acoustics. For more information and booking details click here.
This was project was made possible through the support of the Country Arts Support Program funded by the NSW Government through Arts NSW and jointly delivered by Regional Arts NSW and Regional Arts Boards throughout NSW Read more

Regional Arts Australia Awards 2012 winners announced

Regional Arts Australia has announced the seven National RAA Award winners for 2012, including Forbes writer and cultural development practitioner Merrill Findlay, who has won the award for New South Wales. Merrill Findlay conceived and developed the inaugural 2011 Kalari-Lachlan Arts Festival held in Forbes. She was nominated for this award by her community, who praised her for her hard work, vision, creativity, inclusiveness and community spirit. The recipients of the seven state awards will be presented at the RAA National Conference Kumuwuki / Big Wave in Goolwa South Australia on Sunday 21 October 2012. To find out more, click here. Read more

Crean consolidates philanthropic bodies

NSW Minister for the Arts the Hon Simon Crean yesterday (1 August) announced a new institution to drum up more private support for the arts would launch by July 2013. The Australia Business Arts Foundation (AbaF) and Australia Council’s Artsupport Australia program will merge to create the new institution promoting philanthropy. Both the Australia Council and media agency owner and philanthropist Harold Mitchell in recent reviews have recommended a single body be established to drive private giving. Crean said: “It will join the dots between facilitating private giving and philanthropy, encouraging sponsorship and corporate giving, building partnerships between artists, business and private donors, and recognising the contribution of philanthropists and the business sector in supporting the arts.” Australia Council Chair Rupert Myer AM and AbaF Chair Terry Campbell AO will form part of a steering committee establishing the new body over the next 11 months. Campbell will continue as AbaF chair until 30 June, 2013. In the 2012–13 budget the Government allocated $3.2 million over two years supporting the continuation of AbaF and its amalgamation with the Australia Council’s Artsupport program. Further details available here. Read more

Regional Arts Boards around the state receive funding for Indigenous Arts

Congratulations to all our RABs that received federal funding for Indigenous arts, culture, and language programs in 2012–13 from the Department of Regional Australia, Local Government, Arts and Sport:
South East Arts received $30,000 to celebrate the Aboriginal history of the Moruya region and engage the broader community.
Arts North West received $60,000 to employ an Aboriginal Officer to address the cultural and artistic needs of Aboriginal artists in the North West region of NSW.
Outback Arts received $30,000 to engage an Indigenous Art and Culture Development Officer to conduct art and culture activities in Walgett; $5,400 to improve the Outback Arts Indigenous website to better promote local heritage and culture, and assist artists in promoting their art; and $70,000 to employ five Regional Indigenous Cultural Development Officers to promote and support Aboriginal art and culture in western NSW.
West Darling Arts received $30,000 to maintain a sustainable arts and culture group that provides opportunities and support to Indigenous people in Wilcannia NSW.
Arts Northern Rivers received $88,000 to employ an Indigenous Arts Officer to develop a vibrant Indigenous visual arts and crafts industry in the Northern Rivers region of NSW; and $30,500 to carry out the Bundjalung project for research into traditional mark-making and symbols relevant to Indigenous visual arts in the Northern Rivers region of NSW.
Arts Out West received $79,900 to support and strengthen the Indigenous visual art and crafts industry in the Central West and Orana regions of NSW. Read more