Dear AICSA members,
As we continue to compile and collate all the ideas, suggestions and provocations that have arisen from the 40 Year Vision for the Arts Forum, one of the most consistent statements to emerge has been the need for the arts industry to have greater political influence. In the days immediately following the Forum the fact was raised with AICSA that the arts community is one replete with articulate people who have strong networks of support within the community. As a sector however, we need to develop strategies to demonstrate how we can use the support of arts lovers to more effectively influence political outcomes.
Over the last few weeks, we have interviewed three of the candidates in this weekend’s Davenport by-election to test, which is a small step towards actions that AICSA can eventually take on a larger scale.
We invite you to engage in the process and provide here our summary of the candidates’ views on both the arts and the idea of a 40 Year Vision as gleaned from our interviews.
We also organised for a letter to be sent from a member organisation to patrons living in the Davenport electorate. The letter was from renowned actress Miriam Margolyes OBE encouraging constituents to consider the arts when voting.
We encourage you to share these summaries by this weekend in case you have audiences, friends and fellow workers who live in Davenport (see map).
AICSA Davenport by-election sub committee.
Sam Duluk – Liberal Party of Australia
Sam Duluk is an accountant currently working at ANZ bank and while he is focusing on local issues for his campaign in Davenport he is seeing the big picture in regard to his role as a member of parliament.
He is very connected to the arts particularly music – having studied music at Marryatville High School. His parents are music teachers and his partner is in the ASO.
Sam is a strong believer in the arts and is particularly interested in the impact the arts have in the lives of young people and is eager to have arts education be a priority in schools – he definitely sees and acknowledges the transformative potential of arts for young people.
Sam stated that arts is one of his top 5 priorities (alongside education, economics, health and transport) and can see how the arts could contribute further benefits to the state. He did indicate that there wouldn’t be any extra money for arts and asked if a redistribution of funding could be feasible? For example larger sums to fewer organisations with high impact?
He is not entirely convinced by some statements regarding the economic impact of particular arts activities.
He believes an arts policy is important and is interested in AICSA’s progress with the 40 year vision. He is ultimately interested in what we want and this is something we need to be able to articulate well as a group.
Overall it was a positive conversation with some substance.
Mark Ward – Australian Labor Party
Mark Ward is a local councilor who has worked hard on activating change in Davenport particularly in regard to traffic management.
His major link to arts activities are through his children who are involved in music and drama.
Mark believes the local area could benefit from a public art policy. He believes the main street area could be improved with better design including a public space for markets, and perhaps a theatre.
He is strongly committed to the idea of a statewide arts plan and its integration into broader government programs, particularly in driving economic development.
If elected he would aim to be a strong advocate for the arts in caucus.
Jody Moate – Australian Greens
Jody Moate was unable to make the scheduled meeting and instead AICSA met with Tammy Franks, who is the Greens’ arts shadow minister.
The Greens do not have a state arts policy but intend to develop one as they believe in policy. For this reason they are a strong supporter of AICSA developing a 40 Year Vision. Overall the Greens are strongly committed to the arts.
Tammy spoke about the need for the arts industry to come together to develop a unified voice in order to more strongly advocate on its behalf.
The Greens in South Australia have been involved in advocating most vocally for contemporary music and community arts.
Recently the Greens have expressed serious concern regarding the proposed merger of the Adelaide Festival Centre and the Adelaide Festival as well as the closure of the ABC studios. The Greens recognise that SA has been a national leader in the games industry and they are committed to its growth as a significant potential employer.
Note: Two independent candidates were unable to be contacted for interview.