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SA Arts sector launches its own long term creative plan

A wide-ranging, long-term vision for the arts in South Australia will be launched tonight (Wednesday, December 13)  by the Arts Industry Council for SA (AICSA), which believes an “overarching arts and culture policy” is needed to ensure the sector thrives.

‘Creative South Australia: A Vision for the Arts’ is a new document that outlines the strengths and achievements of the arts sector, as well as future opportunities and challenges.

“Creative South Australia is launched at a time when there is no overarching arts and culture policy or vision in place in South Australia,” says Julianne Pierce, AICSA executive officer.

“Other states across Australia have arts and culture strategies and policy in place which provide long-term planning and vision for the arts – such as Create in NSW: NSW Arts and Cultural Policy Framework and Creative State Victoria.

South Australia has been without such a strategy for many years, with the last comprehensive strategy South Australia. Arts and Cultural Development Task Force being released by Minister for the Arts Diana Laidlaw in 1994.” Pierce said.

AICSA describes the new document as a vision looking forward to 2055, and is urging policy-makers to embrace it.

It comes at the same time the Arts Industry Council of SA is campaigning on the issue of arts funding ahead of next year’s state election, urging candidates and parties to address what it sees as the chronic under-funding of independent artists and small to medium arts organisations.

In a statement today, AICSA chair Gail Kovatseff says “any strategy and planning for the arts must look at the whole ecology, from arts training, to supporting artists and organisations, to audience development and ongoing support of SA’s expanding festival calendar.

“With the current focus on renewing infrastructure, the vision is viewed as a complement to the SA Government’s current plans.”

Under the headline “A network of exceptional cultural spaces”, Creative South Australia says SA’s future needs to see “the expansion of museums, performance spaces, moving image centres and galleries, with lively, interactive programs, as well as new spaces, integrated within city hotspots”.

It adds that “emerging artists and entrepreneurs need opportunities to establish new ventures, mid-career artists need support commensurate with their worth and major organisations need to be encouraged to engage with the wider industry and beyond”.

It argues that strengthening investment in the arts will pay dividends for the state: “The arts can play a central role in building and sustaining the South Australian economy of the future.”

This article was first published in Adelaide’s InDaily

Crowds at Womadelaide. Photo by Grant Hancock, from the Creative South Australia document

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