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Australia Council backs arts and disability with significant new funding

Australia Council backs arts and disability with significant new funding
September 24, 2018

The Australia Council has committed $750,000 over three years to support sustainable careers and to recognise the artistic excellence of artists with disability.

Australia Council Chief Executive Tony Grybowski made the announcement today at Meeting Place, the national forum on arts and disability, saying this was a priority for the Australia Council.

Grybowski explained “artists with disability create powerful work. This work offers unique insights which can shift perspectives and redefine art forms. It’s imperative we empower artists with disability to achieve their artistic ambitions, so that the arts truly reflect the diversity of our nation.

“This investment builds on the Council’s previous commitments to disability arts, and will focus dedicated support for artists with disability through structured mentorships and two new national awards which will increase the visibility of leading established artists and rising stars.” he said.

The Australia Council will invest $250,000 each year over three years to support:

• Two new national awards to celebrate the achievement of artists with disability to be awarded annually on International Day of People with Disability commencing in 2019.
• Structured mentorships supporting artists with disability to further develop their artistic practice through a practice-based project or career development opportunity, opening in 2019.

Further details about both initiatives will be revealed later this year.

Today’s commitment is informed by recent Australia Council research which highlights the importance of agency and ownership, as well as the need for visible success stories and role models to create pathways for other artists with disability.

The report features case studies, including the story of Perth-based artist Julia Hales who collaborated with an extraordinary team to present You Know We Belong Together, a show about love, sexuality and the portrayal of people with disability in popular culture.

Support for artists with disability is a priority for the Australia Council, as its research Making Art Work highlights the need for greater investment. Artists with disability continue to be under-represented among practicing professional artists and earn on average 42% less than their counterparts without disability.

The Australia Council has had a longstanding commitment to artists with disability, with current priorities outlined in its Disability Action Plan. This works alongside the Council’s Cultural Engagement Framework to promote greater access and inclusion in the arts.

Meeting Place is being held in Alice Springs from today (24th September) to 26th September, hosted by Arts Access Australia and Incite Arts with the support of the Australia Council and the Northern Territory Government.

Image: You Know We Belong Together as performed at the Perth Fesitval 2018, courtesy of Toni Wilkinson.

Related Articles

11th June 2018 - Perth Festival makes an impact on Western Australia

15th May 2018 - Australia Council supports more than 200 diverse arts projects and national tours

4th May 2018 - Philanthropist Sam Walsh announced as new Chair for Australia Council Board

18th October 2016 - Research reveals alarming findings about mental health of Australian entertainment industry workers

1st April 2016 - Australia Council invests in a new generation of arts leaders

24th November 2015 - Australian landmarks to light up for International Day of People with Disability

27th April 2015 - Australia Council invests in arts and disability leadership development

4th December 2014 - The Cube breaks world record for International Disability Day

25th June 2014 - Australia Council promotes disability leadership in the arts


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