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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2021 Week 11 Hansard (Thursday, 11 November 2021) . . Page.. 3321 ..

opportunity to update the Assembly on the release of the Statement of Ambition for the Arts. The Statement of Ambition for the Arts was released on 1 October this year. The ambition is simple but powerful: for Canberra to be Australia’s arts capital. This is a bold step but it is not a leap.

Canberra has always been a place for people who embrace arts, culture and creativity. This nourishes our individual and collective wellbeing and connects our emotions, ideas, stories and heritage. This strength provides a platform and motivation to further improve our standing, our reach and what we can achieve. It is as simple as this: no matter who you are, no matter where you are, you will want to be creating, participating or engaging in the arts in Canberra.

It should come as no surprise that Canberra has all the ingredients to become recognised as Australia’s arts capital. We are proud of our First Nations peoples’ enduring connections through their care and creations. We are proud of our design excellence, being a city built from a concept. We are proud of our institutions, organisations, venues and spaces and, importantly, the artists, arts workers, producers, visionaries and creatives who have founded, contributed to and enhanced them. And we are proud of the individuals and communities which generate the passion, foresight, drive and belief which result in exquisite, challenging and emotive creations.

Canberra already reaps the economic benefit of its arts and creative activity and only stands to further benefit from the innovation, born through collaboration, that is encouraged in my statement of ambition. The statement and its core ambition were formed on the basis of conversations I have had with members of the Canberra arts sector over the last 12 months. And I am pleased that the sector has welcomed it.

The statement of ambition and the three strategies within it, which I will outline shortly, will inform the ACT government’s short and medium-term decisions on the arts. It will also be the framework guiding our long-term decision-making, including the development of a new arts policy, a new organisational funding model for the arts, and updated terms of reference for the Minister’s Creative Council.

The ACT arts policy will be informed by research and developed in partnership with the ACT arts community over the remainder of 2021-22. This policy will include the steps, decisions and actions we will take to deliver the strategies to achieve the ambition. The new organisational funding model will have a focus on transparency and accountability and will be developed in partnership with the ACT arts community over the remainder of this financial year too.

To the statement’s strategies, or the paths or routes we will take to help us reach the ambition: the first strategy is to create amazing art and culture, everywhere, at any time, for everyone. The second strategy is to develop arts, cultural and creative industry, practice and facilities, supporting creation and culture at all levels, via any path. The third strategy is to promote our arts and culture to attract artists, workers, visitors and investment. These three strategies are distinct but related. Each strategy supports the others.

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