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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2018 Week 08 Hansard (Thursday, 16 August 2018) . . Page.. 3111 ..

Madam Speaker, as you are well aware, Canberrans enjoy the arts in a different way—some like to participate as an audience member, others like to be actively involved through making or through doing. This is demonstrated by the fact that we had the highest attendance rate at cultural venues and events at 94 per cent and the highest cultural participation rate at 39 per cent of any jurisdiction in Australia.

The recent national arts participation survey conducted by the Australia Council for the Arts, revealed that the majority of Canberrans felt that the arts have a big or a very big impact on their understanding of other people and cultures, child development, mental stimulation, their ability to express themselves, their ability to think creatively and develop new ideas, and their sense of wellness and happiness.

I am pleased to say that almost nine in 10 Canberrans agree that first nations arts are an important part of Australia’s culture, and that the arts in general make for a richer and more meaningful life. In 2016 for the first time the national arts participation survey collected data on engagement with the arts as part of Australia’s cultural background. It revealed that one in three Canberrans engage with their cultural background through the arts.

Data available for the first time also shows that the community arts and cultural development sector is a leader in the use of arts to support social cohesion, enabling diverse voices to be heard and connected through creating art. We know from the 2016 survey that 17 per cent of Canberrans were involved in community arts and cultural development activities that actively engaged community members in decision-making and the creation of art and collaboration with professional artists. The government continues to support individual artists as well as arts organisations to provide activities and programs which enable participation in and access to the arts for the ACT community.

The ACT government is investing an additional $2.6 million in the arts as part of the 2018-19 budget. This is on top of the $21.6 million in funding allocated in the 2017-18 budget and initiatives related to the Cultural Facilities Corporation, which are up for debate later. The ACT government is currently delivering $879,000 a year in grants to local artists. We are also supporting artists and arts organisations through a more flexible and accessible funding and capacity-building program.

A component of this capacity building is demonstrated through a commitment to strengthening the live music sector in the ACT with the recently announced investment of $108,000 to support live music in Canberra during 2018-19 to be delivered by Music ACT. The ACT government will establish a $5 million Canberra screen fund to be administered by Screen Canberra. The fund will invest in commercial screen productions undertaken in Canberra and help our local film industry continue to grow by attracting more major projects.

The government is providing support of over $2 million in total funding over the next three years as part of its funding agreement with the ANU School of Music and the School of Art and Design to deliver the community outreach program. The new program better aligns to the ACT arts policy, which has a focus on developing the arts

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