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Programme 2.1: Arts and cultural development

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Programme objective

This programme contributes to Outcome 2 by administering a range of activities that support excellence in the arts and culture, develop and promote access to cultural activities, support Australian screen production, and protect Australia’s movable cultural heritage.

Cultural development

  • Increase access to the arts in regional and remote Australia through support for community and capacity building arts and culture activities and encourage sustainable cultural development.
  • Support the provision of elite training and development opportunities across a range of artforms.
  • Support the development and promotion of Australia’s national collections.
  • Support the Australian performing and visual arts, screen and creative industries through provision of funding assistance, incentives and the resale royalty scheme.
  • Recognise individual excellence in Australian literature through the Prime Minister’s Literary Awards.
  • Regulate the export and import of significant Australian and international movable cultural heritage to ensure protection of the most significant Australian items and the return of movable cultural heritage material of other countries illegally imported into Australia.

Indigenous arts, culture, languages and repatriation

  • Build a more sustainable and ethical Indigenous visual arts industry.
  • Support the preservation, revitalisation and strengthening of Indigenous culture through support for Indigenous languages centres and community-based languages and culture projects.
  • Facilitate the return of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander ancestral remains and secret sacred objects from Australian institutions, and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander ancestral remains from overseas institutions, to their community of origin.
  • Increase Indigenous Australians’ participation and employment in arts and culture.

Programme deliverables

  • Administer funding agreements for organisations in accordance with the Australian National Audit Office better practice and programme guidelines which assist these organisations to meet their stated objectives and reporting requirements.
  • Manage the delivery of the Regional Arts Fund to support sustainable cultural development in regional and remote areas.
  • Administer Indigenous arts, culture, languages, jobs package and repatriation programmes.
  • Administer the Prime Minister’s Literary Awards in order to increase the profile of Australian writing in the community.
  • Administer the Public Lending Right and Educational Lending Right schemes to recompense eligible creators and publishers for the free, multiple use of their books in public and educational lending libraries.
  • Administer the Location Offset and Post, Digital and Visual Effects offset which support screen production.
  • Administer the Australian Government International Exhibitions Insurance Programme and the National Collecting Institutions Touring Outreach Programme in order to support the staging of significant exhibitions in Australia and the capacity of national collecting institutions to tour works.
  • Administer the Protection of Movable Cultural Heritage Act 1986 in accordance with legislative requirements to protect Australia’s heritage of movable cultural objects.
  • Implement the new scheme to protect objects on loan from overseas for temporary exhibition following the enactment of the Protection of Cultural Objects on Loan Act 2013.

Achievements contributing to programme deliverables

National Opera Review

On 31 July 2014, the Minister for the Arts announced a national review of opera in Australia. Dr Helen Nugent AO was appointed as Chairman of the National Opera Review panel. The review is examining the artistic vibrancy, engagement with audiences and financial positions of Opera Australia, State Opera of South Australia, West Australian Opera and Opera Queensland. The department is supporting Dr Nugent and the panel to undertake the review.

Review of the Protection of Movable Heritage Act 1986

On 23 December 2014, the Minister for the Arts announced Mr Shane Simpson AM, assisted by the department, would undertake an independent review of the Protection of Movable Cultural Heritage Act 1986, which has not been significantly amended since its enactment. The review is considering the existing framework for the protection of movable cultural heritage material in Australia and focus on the appropriate future settings for protection and regulation in this area.

Cultural diplomacy

The Australian Government negotiates agreements with foreign governments to support international engagement through increased collaboration between artists, cultural institutions and organisations. These agreements encourage and facilitate reciprocal visits, residencies, professional exchanges, sharing research and exhibition partnerships. In the past year, new agreements or updated implementation plans under existing agreements have been negotiated with India, Italy, Belarus and Singapore.

Cultural Gifts Program

In 2014–15 the Cultural Gifts Program endorsed nearly 600 donations, valued at approximately $55m, to more than 100 different collecting institutions across Australia. The value of individual donations ranged from less than $1,000 to more than $6m. The programme encourages Australians to donate items of cultural significance from private collections to public art galleries, museums, libraries and archives. Gifts range from paintings, books, sculptures, manuscripts and personal papers to jewellery, ceramics—even entire technological, mechanical, scientific or social history collections.

Access to collections

In 2014–15 audience access to national and international collections was enhanced through funding assistance for both the insurance costs associated with international touring, and development and touring costs for touring of national collections to the regions. Over $3m funding in total was provided through the Australian Government International Exhibitions Insurance programme and the National Collecting Institutions Touring and Outreach programme to support a total of 19 exhibitions. Following a review of the Australian Government International Exhibitions Insurance programme in 2014, revised guidelines were introduced for 2015–16 to expand eligibility within the museums sector.

In February 2015, the Minister for the Arts opened the Protection of Cultural Objects on Loan scheme. The scheme provides legal protection from seizure or suit for cultural objects on loan from overseas for temporary public exhibition in Australia. In providing this protection, the scheme also ensures access by Australian audiences to international exhibitions that otherwise may not be available for loan to Australian institutions. The National Gallery of Victoria was the first institution approved under the scheme.

Indigenous repatriation

On 19 November 2014, the President of the French Republic, Mr François Hollande, and the Prime Minister of Australia, Mr Tony Abbott MP, announced a joint statement of cooperation on the repatriation of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander ancestral remains. The department is working with the Advisory Committee for Indigenous Repatriation and France to facilitate the return of ancestral remains to communities in Australia.

In partnership with the state and territory museums and the National Museum of Australia, the department supported the return and reburial of ancestral remains and the return of secret sacred objects to Indigenous communities, including the Yorta Yorta, Barendgi Gadjin, GunditjMirring and Robinvale communities in Victoria, the Malgana, Yued and Kojonup communities in Western Australia, and Barkindji Maraura Elders Council, Eden Local Aboriginal Land Council, Albury Local Aboriginal Land Council and communities from the Illawarra region, New South Wales.

The Location Incentive

In 2014–15 the Australian Government committed $20m to attract large-budget international productions to Australia (the Location Incentive). The objective of the Location Incentive was to increase Australia’s competitiveness as a world-class filming destination, resulting in jobs for Australia’s creative talent and technicians. Four productions were supported through the Location Incentive injecting over $177m foreign investment into the Australian economy. These productions directly employed more than 6,000 Australians in front of and behind the cameras and used the services of over 2,800 Australian companies.

Anzac Centenary Arts and Culture Fund

The Anzac Centenary Arts and Culture Fund has allocated $4m over four years from 2014–15 to support the development, production, presentation, exhibition or performance of arts and culture projects that enhance our understanding of the Anzac legacy. The fund provides opportunities for Australians in capital cities and regional locations to create and share activities that commemorate Australia’s century of service and acknowledge experiences of conflict at home and abroad. In 2014–15 there were 42 projects funded through the Anzac Centenary Arts and Culture Fund.

Regional Arts Fund

The Regional Arts Fund provides support for sustainable cultural development in regional and remote Australia. Delivered on behalf of the Australian Government by Regional Arts Australia and peak regional arts organisations in each State and by arts ministries in the Territories, it funds a mix of quick response grants and community grants for arts projects, professional development for artists and arts workers and community capacity building projects. It also funds high priority national strategic projects. In 2014–15 the government provided over $3.3m to the Regional Arts Fund supporting over 300 activities across regional and remote Australia.

Results against key performance indicators

Key performance indicator

Access to high-quality cultural experiences and skills development opportunities in regional and remote areas is maintained or increased as measured by the number of funded activities, performances and events reported by state/territory and regional/remote categories.

Result

2014–15: Achieved

2013–14: Achieved

The Indigenous Languages Support programme provided $11m to support 68 activities across Australia in 2014–15. Approximately 30 activities serviced remote or very remote locations, 27 activities serviced regional areas and 11 activities occurred in urban areas.

The Indigenous Visual Arts Industry Support programme provided $11.9m for 114 activities across Australia during the reporting period, with close to 90 per cent of the activities delivered across regional and remote Australia. Seventy-six activities (67 per cent) predominantly serviced remote or very remote locations, 25 activities (22 per cent) serviced regional areas. The funding devoted to remote areas totalled approximately $8m and to regional areas $2.4m. Funding supported around 80 Indigenous-owned art centres, as well as
a number of industry service organisations.

The Indigenous Culture Support programme supported 85 activities across Australia in 2014–15, with a large proportion of funding provided for activities in rural and remote areas: 16 activities in the Northern Territory, 11 activities in Western Australia, 23 activities in New South Wales, 16 activities in Queensland, 9 activities in Victoria, 4 activities in Tasmania, and 6 activities in South Australia.

In 2014–15, the National Collecting Institutions Touring and Outreach Programme provided funding to nine organisations to support 17 exhibitions with a particular focus on regional venues.

In 2014–15, the Regional Arts Fund supported over 300 activities in regional or remote areas across Australia.

Key performance indicator

Access for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples to high-quality cultural experiences is maintained or increased as measured by the number and range of projects supported and the level of achievement of projects against key delivery requirements and programme objectives.

Result

2014–15: Achieved

2013–14: Achieved

In 2014–15 the Indigenous Employment Initiative funded the employment of 428 Indigenous people in jobs to assist in delivery of the Indigenous visual arts, languages and culture programmes delivered by the department. The roles include arts workers and gallery assistants, broadcasting assistants and technicians, cultural administrators and support officers, and language assistants and mentors.

The Indigenous Languages Support programme assisted 131 activities across Australia in 2014–15. Funding supported community-based activities of diverse types, including audiovisual recording of speakers, linguistic analysis, production of new learning resources, training and professional development of Indigenous language workers, language camps, advocacy and public awareness initiatives, and innovative software developments that make the language work of communities faster and more effective.

In 2014–15, the Indigenous Visual Arts Industry Support program assisted a network of around 80 Indigenous-owned art centres and five industry service organisations. This network provides professional opportunities for more than 6,000 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander visual artists by providing the infrastructure and relationships that allow artists to create new art, generate income, develop skills and connect to the commercial art market through partnerships with dealers and galleries, online sales and marketing strategies.

The Indigenous Culture Support program assisted 85 art and culture activities throughout Australia. As well as continuing the development, maintenance and transmission of contemporary Indigenous cultural expression through the arts, these activities provided opportunities to promote respect for cultural knowledge and for Indigenous artists to produce contemporary work.

Key performance indicator

Ninety-five per cent of Public Lending Right and Educational Lending Right payments are made to eligible claimants annually by 30 June.

Result

2014–15: Achieved

2013–14: Achieved

In 2014–15 the Public Lending Right programme paid more than $9.7m to 7,658 eligible claimants. Under the Educational Lending Right programme 9,998 eligible claimants were paid more than $11.8m. Overall, 98.9 per cent of eligible claimants received their lending rights payments by 30 June 2015. These results compare favourably with the results of 2013–14.

Key performance indicator

Increase in sales of Prime Minister’s Literary Award short-listed and winning books.

Result

2014–15: Achieved

2013–14: Achieved

The annual Prime Minister’s Literary Awards are Australia’s richest literary prize with a total prize pool of $600,000. The awards recognise outstanding literary talent and the valuable contribution Australian literature and history makes in shaping Australia’s cultural identity. In 2014–15 there were six award categories: fiction, non-fiction, young adult fiction, children’s fiction, poetry and Australian history. The 2014 awards had nine winning titles.

The awards have continued to provide positive support to Australian writers and the sales of Australian books. The combined sales of 2014 short-listed titles increased by 517 per cent within the month immediately following the shortlist announcement. Sales of eight of the nine winning titles increased between 39 per cent and 3,658 per cent within the month after the winners’ announcement. All but one of the titles examined achieved over 100 per cent increase in sales. These book sales show a marked increase on the books sales last year.

Key performance indicator

Applications (with all supporting documentation provided) for the Location and Post, Digital and Visual Effects offsets are assessed within 15 weeks.

Result

2014–15: Partially achieved

2013–14: Partially achieved

In 2014–15 56 final applications for the Location Offset and PDV Offset were assessed and issued final certificates by the Minister for the Arts. This is almost 300 per cent on the number of final applications certified in 2013–14.

Key performance indicator

One hundred per cent of applications or referrals considered under the Protection of Movable Cultural Heritage Act 1986 are processed and considered in accordance with the requirements of the Act.

Result

2014–15: Achieved

2013–14: Achieved

In 2014–15, the department received 65 applications for export permits. Of these, 54 were finalised and 11 remained active as at 30 June 2015. In 2014–15 the department handled 14 cases regarding the importation of cultural heritage objects that were allegedly illegally exported from another country. Three returns to foreign countries were conducted and one request for return is currently being considered. The department worked collaboratively with relevant foreign governments and other Australian agencies, such as the Australian Customs and Border Protection Service and the Australian Federal Police, to consider and process these matters as appropriate.

The National Cultural Heritage Account was used to fund six acquisitions by five Australian institutions and organisations in 2014–15. Acquisitions and funding include the gold presentation paperweight presented to Dame Nellie Melba by Museum Victoria, the collection of 9 drawings by Hilda Rix Nicholas (1894–1961) created during the First World War by the Australian War Memorial, the Marshall Colonial Traction Engine Number 52110 by the Southern Tablelands Vintage Farm Machinery Club Inc, a Tangyes ‘Otto’ Stationary Engine by the Queen Victoria Museum and Art Gallery, and a Marlborough Chrysoprase boulder and a rare specimen of natural mineral ore from Bulahdelah by the Geographical Society of Australia National Rock Garden Pty Ltd.

Key performance indicator

Arts training organisations provide access to high-quality elite-level performing arts training for emerging Australian artists, including in performance, design and production, as measured by the number of participants and range of training provided.

Result

2014–15: Achieved

2013–14: Achieved

In 2014–15 the seven elite national performing arts training organisations received operational funding totalling $22m. These organisations provided elite training in a wide range of specialisations, including performance, design and production. This training benefited 1,224 enrolled students and participants in the 2014 academic year and will benefit 1,201 enrolled students and participants in the 2015 academic year. Beyond their core training, these organisations provide extension courses and community programmes to more than 10,000 aspiring artists each year.

In 2014–15 the department in partnership with the Department of Education and Training provided funding for the National Music Teachers Mentoring Program Pilot to be delivered by the Australian Youth Orchestra to establish mentorships between music education professionals and generalist classroom teachers. The goal is to enrich music education practice in primary schools and provide generalist classroom teachers with simple strategies and practices to engage students in quality music education.

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