Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1998 Week 2 Hansard (21 May) . . Page.. 501 ..
MS CARNELL (continuing):
Again, this is a way of maximising the effectiveness of the funding that we already provide. Craft ACT has been identified in the Civic revitalisation "Our City" proposal as potentially playing a major role. Its presence in Civic would complement the role and profile of the Canberra Museum and Gallery. It will also strengthen the profile of Civic as a cultural precinct and make a significant contribution to the revitalisation of our Civic Centre. A range of accommodation options for these organisations is currently being explored.
The public art program has also been very successful. Over the next few years the public art program will extend to ventures with the private sector and will undertake some new initiatives which fit within the context of Civic revitalisation through such things as art in vacant spaces type projects. Audience development is about improving the reach that the arts has in the community and enhancing the quality of experience for existing audiences. Maximising audiences is good arts practice, and it is not just about achieving good financial outcomes.
Effective marketing is essential to increasing the number and the satisfaction of audiences, and marketing starts from the recognition of the importance of the customer. Marketing does not involve the marginalisation of artistic quality. Not everyone will respond to the arts product or activity in the same way; and, Mr Deputy Speaker, nor should they. The Government will support appropriate arts marketing activity that best meets the current needs and emerging opportunities. To justify significant funding, arts organisations must be able to demonstrate that they are adding value to the arts.
The Canberra Tourism and Events Corporation will also be developing new initiatives for cultural tourism, while the new Museum and Gallery will develop programs in partnership with local arts organisations and other major exhibition spaces in Canberra to promote local artists to the region and to the nation. It will also establish strategic partnerships with major collecting and exhibiting institutions.
The ACT arts development funding program will be directed to implementing the arts development strategy. Arts funding will be applied to achieve the most effective use of the Government's investment for the benefit of the community through a number of ways. We will be making sure that there is adequate funding for the major local arts organisations; funding less activity and funding it to succeed; in other words, Mr Deputy Speaker, not spreading the funding too broadly, and funding activity that is likely to succeed. Experience has demonstrated that the most effective way to contribute to the development of community arts is by supporting the professional artists to work on community-initiated products.
I must emphasise that the recent demise of a number of ACT arts organisations has not been the result of lack of funding. In the case of Padma Menon, Ms Menon has been forced to cease dancing for health reasons. Paige Gordon has been lured to Perth as the director of a dance company. Company Skylark's demise has come about through hidden financial problems that date back several years, although, Mr Deputy Speaker, we are working very hard to ensure that we do not lose Peter Wilson's great capacity.