Forum #2: understanding the arts budget

Greg Mackie: interviewed by Anthony Steel
4.30-6pm Thursday 3 July
Mercury Cinema, MRC
13 Morphett Street

You’ve seen the media releases, you’ve heard the goss… now feel the nitty gritty as Greg Mackie, Executive Director, Arts SA is interviewed by Anthony Steel, recipient of the Premier’s Lifetime Achievement Award at the Annual Ruby Awards 2007: and unpacks this plumper arts budget for us. Find out what it might mean for you now and in the future.

Official Arts Budget Media Release:
$57m extra investment in the arts

Greg is open to responding to questions on any aspect of arts development. If you would like to ask a question anonymously, or are unable to attend — you can send questions to us via info@aicsa.net.au and Anthony will ask on your behalf. Here’s a sample of what we’ve been thinking about:

What’s in – what’s out ? What’s been happening to arts funding in recent years ? Can you forecast any future pressure points ? Any suggestions for how we can effectively lobby for increased investment in our makers ? Can you talk about the SA Regional Centre of Culture program ? Does it build on or extend work undertaken in the venues owned by Country Arts SA that desperately need a serious injection of maintenance funds ? Will there be any increases for the small to medium companies and project funded artists to match rising CPI figures ? With our Premier calling for innovation and creativity to be placed at the heart of everything we do – can we expect to see that reflected in the budget in the future ? What oportunitites exist for the arts in the major health building program ? Is a % for the arts scheme a good idea ? Do we have an accommodation crisis in the arts ? What about affordable rehearsal space ? Contemporary visual arts are facing bigger pressure than ever – are there any plans for flexible venues, residential studio, workshops, labs, and adequate storage space for the visual arts floating around ? Will the State Government commit to the development of community arts practice ? What happened to SPARKS, FLAMES & EMBERS South Australia’s Indigenous arts strategy ? How are some of these decisions / plans made with no overriding policy for the arts ? Do we need one ?

Greg Mackie OAM, Executive Director, Arts SA
In his role as Executive Director of Arts SA, Greg is responsible for the government’s policy and investments in the arts in South Australia, ranging from our excellent cultural heritage collections along North Terrace to our support for festivals and grants programs for artists and maker organisations. He serves on the advisory boards of the Graduate Arts Management Program at Uni SA, on the Bachelor of Media program at University of Adelaide and the Flinders University Bachelor of Creative Arts Course Advisory Committee. In 2007 Greg was awarded the Australian Business Arts Foundation (AbaF) Dame Elisabeth Murdoch Award for cultural leadership; in 2006 he received the inaugural Flinders University Distinguished Alumni Award, and in 2002 he was awarded the Medal of the Order of Australia (OAM) for his contribution to the arts.

Anthony Steel AM, Premier’s Lifetime Achievement Award, Ruby Awards 2007
ANTHONY STEEL moved to Adelaide in 1972 as the first general manager of the Adelaide Festival Centre and was Artistic Director of five Adelaide Festivals between 1974-86. In 1978 Anthony was appointed a Member of the Order of Australia for services to the arts, and more recently received the Premier’s Lifetime Achievement Award at the Rubies in 2007. Look over his brief bio and you can see why. Anthony has directed more major international arts festivals than anyone in Australia, he has managed companies, produced events and programs, served as a member, president and chair of many Boards, including serving as the inaugural chair of Australia Council’s Performing Arts Board. During the last decade Anthony has continued serving on many boards, been engaged in projects for the Hong Kong Arts Development Council, the South Australian and Tasmanian governments, the Sydney Opera House Trust, The Confederation of Australian International Arts Festivals, amongst others. In 2005 he was awarded a fellowship from the Theatre Board of the Australia Council to write a memoir and is a visiting research fellow at the University of Adelaide. He wrote a series of articles about the 2008 Adelaide Bank Festival of Arts for the Independent Weekly and chaired all ten of the Festival’s lunchtime forums with visiting artists.

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