VALUING REGIONAL ARTS
Welcome to the first State of the RANT blog post. We wanted to begin this series with a piece focusing upon the value of regional arts.
So, in a few points, tell us what is the value of regional arts? Well, regional arts create employment opportunities, builds professional and creative capacity, invigorates tourism and encourages partnerships and investment for our communities.
But we all know this.
The true power of arts in regional and remote areas can be seen in: the many examples of innovation and collaboration; the driving of difficult (and necessary) conversations; the reimagining and reinvigoration of disused and forgotten places; the connections to the land and its traditional custodians; and those mind-blowing first art experiences that can, in many cases, change lives.
We are reminded of the words of Ban Ki-moon, former Secretary-General of the United Nations who said: “Building sustainable cities - and a sustainable future - will need open dialogue among all branches of national, regional and local government. And it will need the engagement of all stakeholders - including the private sector and civil society, and especially the poor and marginalized.”
If regional areas are the future of this country and regional arts are so deeply interwoven into our communities, bringing us all together, why is it that government funding has dropped to less than half of what it was ten years ago?
As many of you may have heard, Regional Arts Australia have launched a new campaign calling for an increase of at least $2 million per year to the Regional Arts Fund.
The vision of RAF is to support and promote participation and access to Australia’s arts and culture in regional and remote Australia – to help build vibrant communities. The fund achieves this by focusing upon four key objectives:
encouraging and supporting sustainable economic, social and cultural development in regional communities;
developing partnerships and networks which leverage financial and/or in-kind support for specific projects and encourage ongoing collaboration;
developing audiences and broaden community engagement with the arts; and
increasing employment and professional development opportunities for, and raising the profile of, regional and remote artists.
For Tasmania, it is important to recognise that all artists and art organisations across the state, including those based in Hobart, are classified as regional under the Modified Monash Model geographical classification system.
Tasmania embodies the values of RAF and one only has to glance across the state to see such powerful examples of vibrant regional arts and culture. From young dancers Stompin about, to sharing traditions and good spirit, mothers exploring the experience of mental load, Bhutanese stories brought to life through dance and a contemporary arts festival that does not conform – Tasmania lives, loves and breathes regional arts.
So why is it important to support this campaign? Simply put, an increase in funds for the Regional Arts means greater opportunities for not only our amazing Tasmanian artists but the communities in which they live and support.
RANT Arts agrees with RAA that the time is right to for the Regional Arts Fund to be increased. We support this campaign and encourage you all to join us by showing your support for Regional Arts on social media and letting our elected representatives know that regional arts matter. You can find more details here.
RANT has begun to connect with communities, artists and organisations across the state. It is important that we hear your voice and get your thoughts and ideas. Over the coming months we will be facilitating events, consultations and new ways to connect with us, so please join our mailing list, follow us on Facebook or book a time to speak with us from our website.
Regional arts matter!