A New Approach today released its fourth report, Behind the scenes: Drivers of arts and cultural policy settings in Australia and beyond.
There are some important opportunities and decisions ahead of us. That is why understanding the drivers that inform public policy settings is critical for the future of Australian arts and culture.
Behind the scenes brings these policy drivers centre stage; making them clearer and more accessible so that a wider range of people can take part in informed discussion about Australia’s cultural policy settings.
In this report, we unpack four policy drivers that we have found to be the most significant influences on arts, cultural and creative policies, globally, for the last 70 years. They are:
- Collective identity
- Reputation building
- Social improvement
- Economic contribution
In exploring Australia’s existing cultural policy settings, we found that these four very different, sometimes conflicting policy drivers have accumulated in both positive and negative ways. This makes arts and culture a highly complex policy space, but also one where there is great opportunity for development.
The report identifies some key opportunities for action in this area, including:
- Establish an inquiry investigating whether cultural policy settings and associated investments are effective and relevant for 21st century Australia. This should include a strategy and mechanism for better coordination between the three levels of government, and identify the policy areas that would create value through strategic investment.
- Create a National Arts and Culture Plan, in the same vein as the existing ‘Sport 2030’ National Sport Plan, that identifies the enduring and non-partisan principles and responsibilities that could inform more coherent arts and cultural policy settings and investment at all three levels of government.
- Consider the value of a whole-of-government creative industries approach to cultural policy that will strategically connect arts and culture to innovation outcomes in the broader creative economy.
- Prioritise incentives, requirements and schemes that support collective identity-building through the production and distribution of diverse Australian content that will help to build a unified national identity and represent Australia to the world.
- Review pathways and mechanisms that connect and embed arts and cultural activities in education, mental health and social inclusion strategies, including those related to recovery from natural disasters and significant social and economic disruptions.
Behind the scenes: Drivers of arts and cultural policy in Australia and beyond is part of the work by A New Approach to champion effective investment and return in arts and culture.
We hope that this report will help create a framework for more productive discussions about policy and investment between all levels of government, businesses, individual creators, philanthropists and in the media.
Our cultural future depends on it.