Australian artists protest potential cuts

Arts Industry Council of South Australia (AICSA) has called for artists to protest against possible funding cuts in a demonstration outside the state’s Parliament House on 19 April. It is estimated up to AUD8.5m (€5.75m) could be cut from the state’s arts budget.

‘Many local companies are under threat of closure and jobs will be lost without sustainable funding, affecting our state’s reputation as an arts capital…artists, arts workers and arts lovers are invited to join AICSA to voice our concerns about these significant arts funding cuts,’ said AICSA in a statement.

Adelaide Festival – which in 2016 included Rona Munro’s historical trilogy The James Plays and a performance by Godspeed You! Black Emperor – could have AUD1m removed from its budget, while other major institutions also fear large cuts. South Australian Government is looking to cut arts funding by about seven per cent over a three year period. AUD18m has already been removed from the national arts budget.

‘Locally, AICSA research indicates that in 2014 the small to medium arts sector received less than two per cent of the state’s arts budget, but had local audiences of over 700,000,’ said AICSA chair Gail Kovatseff. ‘This indicates both their efficiency and their high impact on the lives of their fellow South Australians.’

The protest begins at 2pm on the steps of Parliament House. State Theatre Company executive director Rob Brookman is among the speakers who will address the gathering.

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