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Want funding for your arts project? Better live in Sydney or Melbourne

The new Australia Council board is dominated by members from Melbourne and Sydney, giving power to the complaint regional organisations get ignored when it comes to funding. Crikey examines the data.

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Is money for Australian art in Venice a little rich?

Australia is getting a new pavilion at the Venice Biennale, largely funded by private donors. But very few of us will ever see it. The rich are spending more on art, but do we really benefit?

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Post-Crean, arts shake-up begins — with winners and losers

Simon Crean is gone, but the Gillard government is pressing on with its Australia Council reforms. It might face opposition to the decision to scrap artform-specific representation.

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National Cultural Policy out at last — and it’s a big win for arts

The federal government’s National Cultural Policy, released today, is a big win for the arts generally — it’s got new money and plenty of policy reform. But there are losers.

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Theatre reviewer’s curtain call shows bare stage of criticism

Australia’s best blog devoted to theatre criticism has frozen in time. There are fewer opportunities for thoughtful arts criticism, robbing culture of important conversations.

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Power and privilege: the 25 ‘trophy’ boards high-flyers covet

What are the boardrooms Australia’s corporate high-flyers most want to be in? The ones with perks where no experience is necessary — but it’s still hard work. Crikey names the most coveted.

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Two-speed performing arts sector drags down attendance

New data released by the Australia Council confirms stagnating audiences for the nation’s largest performing arts organisations. But companies say it’s not as bad as it looks.

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Performing arts audiences stagnating: Crikey analysis

A major new analysis of public source attendance data for Australian performing arts companies published today by Crikey reveals stagnating audiences across the sector.

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THE POWER INDEX | COMPANIES|

James Strong: making the tough calls at Woolies

James Strong has a rather proactive lifestyle: he bikes, climbs, wears bowties, and chairs the boards of three very different entities: Woolworths, Kathmandu and the Australia Council, writes Angela Priestley.

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Oz Council review: smart reform, but will Crean have the cash/courage?

Angus James and Gabrielle Trainor’s review of the Australia Council is a bold yet sensible reform blueprint for an organisation that badly needs reform. But can it really be implemented?

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Australia Council review: artistic boards should be abolished

Arts Minister Simon Crean has released the findings of the Review of the Australia Council.

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Millions for a tiny record label with powerful players

The story of Melba Recordings’ special deal with the Australian government shows that when it comes to arts funding, friends in high places can still deliver the goods.

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THE POWER INDEX | FEDERAL|

The queen of arts funding in Oz

Kathy Keele is well acquainted with the f-word. As boss of the Australia Council, she’s responsible for distributing more than $170 million worth of government funding for the arts every year. Tom Cowie chats with her about her power.

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We love getting crafty, but there’s no money in the kitty

Craft practice is exploding in Australia. So why is the Australia Council defunding Australia’s national craft body?

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Efficiency divided cuts deep into national gallery, library

The federal government’s efficiency dividend is causing real pain for cultural bodies, with key museums and institutions forced to delay exhibitions and lay off dozens of staff.

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Arts life after money: has the Australia Council ‘lost the plot’?

What happens when an arts organisation suddenly loses funding? For two small arts organisations that have recently lost their cash, after the crisis comes resilience.

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New cultural roadmap, but will there be a soundtrack?

The arts year will be dominated by key themes: the announcement of the National Cultural Policy, the deflation of the music festivals bubble, and fraught times at many smaller companies.

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Australia Council review secret and hopelessly compromised

Arts Minister Simon Crean’s review of the Australia Council is much needed. But it’s been hopelessly compromised already by the choice of the man leading it.

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Nothing changes in opera — and nobody seems to care

The reason opera is a “heritage” artform is that its audiences don’t want to see new operas. Time to abandon the fiction that it deserves more public funding than anything else.

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Money and art: should businesspeople run the creative space?

The common message from much of the social sciences is that the arts and culture are more than just industries exchanging goods and services. They are constitutive parts of our everyday life.

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Arts policy converging into a government hash

Government arts policy is a hash. The now its Convergence Review — which is posing serious questions about the future shape of cultural policy — is making the National Cultural Policy irrelevant.

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The costly disease in our backing orchestras

An Australia Council-commissioned report into Australia’s ballet and opera orchestras reveals an unsustainable business model. But where will efficiencies come from?

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Save the Australia Council, at least for the music: academic

Some have argued to abolish arts funding body the Australia Council altogether. But that could kill classical music, argues academic Justin O’Connor.

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The plan to provoke a profound shake-up to the arts

A new report from the Australia Council has big implications for Australian cultural policy, says Ben Eltham. Its conclusions imply a profound shake-up in the current status quo.

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Marcus Westbury | ART & DESIGN|

Where does Australia’s arts funding go?

Last year Opera Australia received more funding than all the 781 other arts boards and projects combined. Marcus Westbury breaks down the Australia Council arts funding fiasco.

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