ACT Labor to deliver nation-leading arts facilities for the future and engage our youth

ArtsPolicyLaunch_Web

ACT Labor will continue to invest in Canberra to make it an even better place to live, work, study and play.

We believe the arts are an intrinsic part of a vibrant and engaged community.  Continuing engagement with the arts, from early childhood, is a fundamental part of social development and life-long learning, and should be accessible to all Canberrans.

Canberra is a city which embraces the arts.  According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics’ 2012 Culture Report, 93 per cent of Canberrans aged 15 years and over attended at least one cultural venue or event annually; 36 per cent attended popular music concerts; 46 per cent attended art galleries; and 23 per cent attended theatre performances.

These attendance rates are significantly higher than the national average, and reflect a community that values the arts and which has internationally renowned arts facilities and artists on their doorstep.

ACT Labor has overseen the increase in participation in the arts and our ongoing support and investment in the arts will continue to see it go from strength to strength.

But there is more to do.

That’s why, if re-elected ACT Labor will provide $5.83 million over four years to deliver nation-leading arts facilities for the future, protect and celebrate our finest cultural assets and better engage our young people in the arts.

ACT Labor will:

Deliver $4 million over four years to develop the Kingston arts precinct and Ainslie Arts Centre

Invest $1 million over two years to upgrade the Gorman House Arts Centre

Provide $750,000 for a feasibility, site selection and design study into building a new theatre

Make poetry more accessible to young Canberrans with $10,000 Poetry Slam competitions in the north and south

Bring back the Fringe Festival to Canberra’s CBD from next year

Policy costings

ACT Labor will deliver an additional $5.83 million over four years to progress these initiatives, comprising $4 million over four years for the arts hubs works, $1 million over two years towards refurbishing the Gorman House Arts Centre, $0.75 million in 2013-14 for a comprehensive feasibility study and design work to build a new theatre in Civic, $20,000 each year from 2013-14 to bring back the Fringe Festival, and establish a Poetry Slams in Schools from existing funds.

 

ACT Labor’s plan to deliver nation-leading arts facilities and engage our youth

Capital costs

 

2013-14

2014-15

2015-16

2016-17

Total

Arts Hubs

$1.00m

$1.50m

$1.00m

$0.50m

$4.00m

Gorman House upgrades

$0.50m

$0.50m

 

 

$1.00m

New Theatre (design)

$0.65m

 

 

 

$0.65m

Total

$2.15m

$2.00m

$1.00m

$0.50m

$5.65m

Recurrent costs

 

2013-14

2014-15

2015-16

2016-17

Total

Fringe Festival

$0.02m

$0.02m

$0.02m

$0.02m

$0.08m

New Theatre (feasibility)

$0.10m

 

 

 

$0.10m

Poetry Slam competition

 

 

 

 

$0.00m

Total

$0.12m

$0.02m

$0.02m

$0.02m

$0.18m

ACT Labor is already delivering more for the Arts

ACT Labor continues to invest to expand our city’s community arts facilities that offer a range of free and affordable arts programs, exhibitions and performances.

We have set out a clear direction for the arts sector for the future, with the commissioning and release of the Loxton Review of the Arts in Canberra in late 2010 which laid the foundation for a renewed vision for Canberra’s diverse arts scene.

Our ACT Arts Policy Framework was released in July this year and will guide the ACT arts sector into an era of growth and activity.

This vision is being accompanied by a number of on-the-ground projects already being delivered which include:

  • $2 million for a capital upgrade of the Tuggeranong Arts Centre;
  • $300,000 for a feasibility study and forward design for the second stage of the Belconnen Arts Centre;
  • $3.1 million to upgrade the Canberra Theatre Centre;
  • $50,000 Artists in Residence grants across nine arts organisations;

We will continue to invest in our city’s arts infrastructure to ensure it continues to meet our city’s needs into the future.

We are progressing three arts ‘hubs’ accommodating complementary activities: Kingston Arts Precinct (visual arts), the Street Theatre (performing arts) and Ainslie Arts Centre (music).

We have already provided $3.2 million to extend the capacity of the Street Theatre to function as a hub for performing arts activity.

 

Policy Initiatives

ACT Labor will deliver $4 million over four years to develop the Kingston arts precinct and Ainslie Arts Centre

ACT Labor will deliver $4 million over four years to develop the Kingston Arts Precinct into a world class Visual Arts Hub, and the Ainslie Arts Centre into a Musical Arts Hub.The $4 million capital funding will allow for the construction of new infrastructure, and upgrades to existing facilities, to create hubs of creativity and activity among like-minded artists.  It is anticipated that the hubs will also become drawcards for the Canberra community and tourists.

We will commence consultation with stakeholders to determine the needs of Canberra’s arts community, and what model they would like to see employed at the Arts Hubs to ensure that artists and arts organisations can best be accommodated to produce quality artistic products.

This funding is in addition to the funding already set aside for the development of Kingston’s Fitters’ Workshop as a world-class print studio.

 

ACT Labor will invest $1 million over two years to upgrade to the Gorman House Arts Centre

We will upgrade Gorman House Arts Centre, a highly valued arts hub that is one of our city’s finest cultural assets, to ensure its historic splendour is preserved and enhanced.

The historic Gorman House Arts Centre in Braddon is one of our city’s finest cultural assets, laying claim to being Canberra’s first arts centre.

It was built in 1925 as a government hostel, and was designed in the ‘garden pavilion’ style which followed the garden city concept of Walter Burley Griffin.  The charm of the 1920s architecture is reflected in a series of eight buildings linked by wisteria clad, undercover walkways, sunny courtyards, and lush lawns.

Nowadays, the ACT Government-owned facility is home to 33 artistic organisations covering several arts genres.  An ACT Labor Government will invest $1 million over two years to fund capital works at the Heritage-listed precinct, ensuring it remains a jewel in the crown of our city’s arts community.  An asset management plan which artsACT is already in the process of commissioning will guide the priority of works to be undertaken with this funding.

 

ACT Labor will provide $750,000 for a feasibility, site selection and design study into building a new theatre

The Canberra Theatre Centre is Canberra’s main venue for touring performing arts productions, offering a rich program that attracts hundreds of thousands of patrons each year.  Built in 1965 when Canberra’s population was just 90,000, the Theatre’s capacity of 1250 and its on-stage and backstage limitations mean that Canberra misses out on some of the biggest productions that tour Australia.

ACT Labor recognises the need to plan for our city’s future cultural needs, which is why if re-elected we will do the necessary preparations to determine where and how a new theatre should be built.  Investment will ensure we are able to attract international and national blockbuster productions including ballet, opera and theatre and with sufficient capacity for our growing city.  Previous assessments have determined that Canberra can commercially sustain a 2000-seat theatre.

The comprehensive feasibility, site selection and design study that will provide a clear direction for what our city’s next major theatre will look like.  The study will be overseen by the ACT Government, in consultation with the Cultural Facilities Corporation and other stakeholders.

 

Make poetry more accessible to young Canberrans with $10,000 Poetry Slam competitions in the north and south

ACT Labor will make poetry more accessible to young people in Canberra, by holding two poetry slam competitions across ACT Government schools, one in the north and one in the south. ArtsACT will work with the Education Directorate to deliver the programs, which will help contemporise the art of poetry.  The emerging art form is a great way to get young people to engage in poetry as a way of expressing themselves, with local arts groups keen to see more young people involved.

ACT Labor will bring back the Fringe Festival to the heart of the city with $20,000 every year for the free ‘Fringe’ alongside the Multicultural Festival.

ACT Labor believes the arts should be accessible to persons of all ages and backgrounds. We are committed to providing free, quality artistic programs that appeal to a young audience, and we already provide funding to such events as the successful You Are Here Festival.

We recently announced that we would fund a Fringe event, similar to the Festival which ran alongside the National Multicultural Festival until 2009, to run alongside the 2013 Multicultural Festival as a 1-2 night showcase of alternative and experimental arts entertainment.