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AUSTRALIAN ARTISTSÍ INCOMES TO GET MULTI-MILLION DOLLAR BOOST

The Australia Council for the Arts will invest more than $2.8 million to increase the earnings of Australian artists.

Seven three-year initiatives will boost incomes and employment opportunities for Australian dancers, writers, visual artists, musicians and Indigenous artists.

Australia Council for the Arts chief executive officer Jennifer Bott said the initiatives were a strategic response to research into Australian artists’ earned incomes.

‘Statistics from the last census show that professional visual artists earn around 36 per cent less than the national average, musicians 20 per cent less, and dancers and actors 16 per cent less – despite their work involving skills and experience of the very highest calibre,’ Ms Bott said.

‘The Australia Council has developed these initiatives to help artists secure greater financial reward from their creative talent, taking advantage of opportunities in the innovation economy.

‘We have identified several areas which offer opportunities to artists to more effectively create digital content, to take their art products to market, exploit their intellectual property, and manage their artistic careers.’

The seven artists’ earned income initiatives include:

  • SCOPE – to build professional development and career opportunities for dancers during their professional lives and beyond, similar to career management schemes for professional athletes
  • Maker to Manufacturer to Market – to encourage entrepreneurship amongst craft and design artists and better convert their artistic ideas into successful commercial products
  • Story of the Future – to encourage skills development and cross-artform collaborations through digital studios, led by a writer or producer
  • Artists in Work – providing employment opportunities for Indigenous people working in the arts through traineeships, scholarships, employer incentives and general positions.
  • Other initiatives are a strategy to protect indigenous intellectual property The Other Side of the Coin, a research project into digital download of music, and seed funding for a second Australian Chamber Orchestra ensemble for young musicians.

The seven projects are among 14 planned initiatives, worth a total of $6.6 million, which the Australia Council has developed to address key issues on the Australian arts landscape today.

‘They demonstrate our new focus on the big picture and making a difference to the Australian arts community, that were key drivers of Arts Catalyst, the Australia Council’s reorganisation of its structure last year,’ Jennifer Bott said.

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