Why Arts Matter: Australia Council 2018 report released

The Australia Council has released its annual report which this year includes case studies to demonstrate the impact of the Council’s work in wellbeing, social cohesion, Australia’s international reputation, and the future of work. Key statistics that the Council uses to report its progress for 2017-18 include:

  • Support for the creation of over 10,000 new artworks with an audience reach of nearly 23 million

  • Direct support for 762 individual artists and 609 organisations 

  • More than 46,000 arts activities created by, with or for children and young people

  • Support for 600+ arts leaders through the Australia Council’s capacity building programs

  • 63% of grants awarded to female artists.

The full report is available at: http://www.australiacouncil.gov.au/workspace/uploads/files/australia-council-annual-repor-5bd8e5e63c2c6.pdf

A national arts and cultural emergency for young Australians

When we look at the Australian cultural landscape not everyone’s story has a place within the cultural conversation. Scott Rankin’s recent Platform Paper Cultural Justice and the Right to Thrive is a powerful and timely tale for this time … Rankin’s text explores a story about art and cultural participation for all Australians … that is not just rooted in economics.

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Urgent call for change in UK school arts education

A recent research report, Time to Listen, commissioned by Arts Council England and produced by the University of Nottingham, has revealed the need for urgent changes in arts and culture provision in schools. The three-year study Tracking Arts Learning and Engagement, gathered data from over 6000 11-18 year olds and their teachers, and reinforces the positive impact that arts and cultural learning has on student confidence, creativity, wellbeing, empathy and independent thinking, yet it reveals that school is the only avenue for arts engagement for over one third of students.

Responding to the study, Buckingham University Vice Chancellor Anthony Seldon said:

"We all have a role to play in securing high quality access to the arts and culture for young people. This research tells us how valuable arts subjects and experiences are for students in schools - but it also tells us they are under significant threat. I call on Vice Chancellors across the country to play our part in securing the future of arts subjects in schools and universities by ensuring they are appropriately valued in our institutions. I ask Russell Group universities to review their approach to facilitating subjects and ensure we aren't inadvertently telling young people that choosing arts subjects at A Level will close down their options."

Further details on the research is available at https://researchtale.net

The research was conducted in collaboration with the Royal Shakespeare Company and the Tate Gallery who have released a film entitled Why Study Art? to coincide with the release of the report. This is available at: https://www.tate.org.uk/art/videos/tateshots/why-study-art

2019 National Visual Art Education Conference. At the Heart: Inspiration, Bravery, Compassion and Connection

Event date: 21-23 January 2019
Event location: National Gallery of Australia, Canberra
Event website: https://nga.gov.au/nvaec/default.cfm

At NVAEC in 2019 we are asking: What is at the heart of art education?

We believe teachers are at the heart. Teachers are the heartbeat, they are art advocates, they are art tragics, they are passionate. They are brave, they wear their hearts on their sleeves and they keep students at the centre. Our theme in 2019, in line with the major summer exhibition Love & Desire: Pre-Raphaelite Masterpieces from the Tate, is all about matters of the heart - inspiration, bravery, compassion and connection.

The conference program in 2019 will offer opportunities for teachers of all levels of schooling as well as artists and educators from the museum and gallery sector to explore a broad range of current issues in visual art education.

Sydney Conservatorium lecturer receives Bernard Heinze Memorial Award

Congratulations to Sydney Conservatorium jazz lecturer Judy Bailey whose outstanding contribution to music in Australia has been acknowledged by the Sir Bernard Heinze Memorial Award. Presenting the award, Professor Gary McPherson, Ormond Chair and Director, Melbourne Conservatorium of Music, said “Judy’s contribution to music is profound, and her career as one of the country’s preeminent jazz musicians has influenced generations of musicians throughout Australia.” Judy is recognised as one of Australia’s most distinguished jazz composers and music educators. Her previous recognitions include an inaugural APRA Award for jazz composition and an OAM for services to music and education. Judy was inducted into the Jazz Hall of Fame in 2014.

Female artists feature heavily in Australia Council grants awarded

Congratualtions to Monash Professor Cat Hope who was one of the 63% of female artists who received a grant from the Australia Council in its recently announced awards. The latest round of over 200 grants awarded includes a significant number of awards made to female artists, particularly within the music category where 73% of all grants announced were made to female applicants. The funding results follow on from last year’s report Making Art Work which revealed a substantial pay gap for women in the arts. The report is available at: http://www.australiacouncil.gov.au/research/making-art-work/

Consultation into Arts and Disability announced

The Australian Government is inviting input into its new Arts and Disability Strategy. The consultation period is open until 3 December 2018. The discussion paper and details on how to contribute to the new strategy is available at: https://www.arts.gov.au/have-your-say/national-arts-and-disability-strategy