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12 May 2009
The Rudd Government has delivered on its commitments and strengthened its support for Australia's arts and cultural sector with an investment of $62.3 million in the 2009-10 Federal Budget.
Arts Minister Peter Garrett today announced new programs to support artists, increase access and promotion of the arts, and maintain support for existing programs.
"This budget recognises the critical role the arts play in nourishing our community and supporting employment particularly during difficult economic times," Mr Garrett said.
"The Government has delivered on a number of election commitments in this budget, including boosting support for Australia's Indigenous artists - a key source of Indigenous employment - and developing opportunities for young and emerging artists to build sustainable careers.
"New funding of $9.3 million will be delivered through the National Arts and Crafts Industry Support (NACIS) program to assist the sustainability of the Indigenous art sector, and $600,000 will help fund the implementation of an industry code of conduct.
"Funding will be directed to Indigenous art centres - a vital source of Indigenous jobs - and will support the implementation of an Indigenous Australian Art Commercial Code of Conduct which will, for the first time, set agreed industry standards for ethical and transparent commerce.
"The Australian Government will support young and emerging artists through the new $9.6 million ArtStart program, which offers one-off grants to help graduates start a business as professional artists.
"Many emerging artists are forced to rely on their own resources and part-time jobs to subsidise their careers," Mr Garrett said.
"ArtStart will respond to artists' needs through a competitive grants process that promotes and rewards artistic excellence."
The first grant round will be advertised in late 2009.
"The budget also continues the Government's longstanding commitment to world-class performing arts training organisations and to providing opportunities for young and emerging artists.
"Funding will assist the National Institute of Dramatic Art (NIDA) to attract and retain specialist teachers, secure the Australian Youth Orchestra's world-class training and international touring programs and meet costs associated with the Australian Ballet School's recent refurbishment.
"Additionally, the Government will provide support in 2009-10 for territory orchestras and the many small-to-medium arts organisations that are critical stepping stones in the careers of many emerging artists and performers," Mr Garrett said.
"A new Australian Government International Exhibitions Insurance Program will replace Art Indemnity Australia, ensuring Australians have access to high quality international exhibitions, with less complexity and less risk.
"Funding will also be used for the National Collecting Institutions Touring and Outreach Program, which will allow our national collecting institutions to tour collections at home and abroad, particularly in regional Australia."
The Books Alive program will be maintained, with funding of $8.0 million over four years, and the Melba Foundation will receive continued support of $2.3 million over three years to produce and market high quality music recordings by Australian artists.
"Books Alive is the biggest annual promotion of books and reading in Australia and encourages all Australians to discover and re-discover the joys and benefits of reading," Mr Garrett said.
"I'm particularly pleased that this popular and successful program will continue to raise the profile of reading and, importantly, support Australian authors."