Have your say on the new national Cultural Policy

The Federal Government is developing a 10-year cultural policy, and has invited anyone involved or interested Australian art, culture or entertainment to have their say.

If you listen to Australian music, read, watch local-made TV, enjoy going to performances, exhibitions or shows, participate or make any sort of art, this means YOU. Our sector needs as many people to respond as possible to make sure the policy reflects the full diversity of Australian arts and culture.

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Art of Governance survey findings

In preparation for my Bundanon residency in May 2022, I launched a survey asking the Australian arts sector to share your experiences of being on, employed or contracted by, or reporting to arts, cultural or not-for-profit organisations governed by managing Committees or Boards.

I am so very grateful to all those who shared their time and thoughtfulness (and, in many cases, trauma) to contribute to the survey, which will provide the basis for my ongoing work in this area – including an initial analysis coming soon. And, as promised, a summary of the survey’s key findings follows here.

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Resetting our arts boards

Many (if not most) of us are part of the hugely messy and even more misunderstood space that is not-for-profit governance in Australia.

We report to boards, or report to people who report to boards. We apply to the organisations they oversee for our jobs, grants and opportunities. We are board members ourselves.

But this governance model is broken. Even when they’re working well, our boards are usually much harder work than either board members or staff members would like. And good boards can become bad boards in the space of one AGM.

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Our hybrid (accessible) future

COVID-19 rushed the world into digital and hybrid ways of working faster than anyone could have imagined. Unsurprisingly, this led to a lot of reverse-engineering, working-it-out-on-the-job, and many of us getting things wrong. However, it also led to new ways of working and making from which many don’t want to return.

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Adelaide arts organisations take their work online

When the first COVID-19 lockdowns hit last year, many vulnerable and marginalised communities became immediately more marginalised. In response, Adelaide’s artists and arts organisations took their work online as a way to keep showing up for people suddenly disconnected from their communities, and to make sure their diverse stories and experiences could be shared.

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Putting people first post COVID-19

Managing team wellbeing can be a challenge at the best of times – and the best of times seem very far away.

As we settle into our newest new-normal, our teams are stressed and preoccupied. Many are still recovering from being distanced from the social, cultural and creative interactions important for their health and happiness. Many are still adjusting to what it means to re-engage with the world.

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