Cuts to the arts department have sparked a rethink for artists and their supporters

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The Arts Council of New South Wales has announced a plan to cut the arts budget by 25 per cent.

The cuts will affect staff numbers, and it has been announced the council will no longer be funding arts and culture programmes.

The arts council’s announcement came just a week after the government announced a cut of about $20 million in arts funding.

The council’s chief executive, Paul Kennedy, said the cuts were a “great opportunity for the arts to be taken back from the state government”.

“The arts community have been hit by cuts in funding and I believe we can recover from this,” Mr Kennedy said.

“It is important to have the arts back in our community.”

“The council will continue to work closely with our partner organisations to ensure they can continue to thrive and the arts will remain the backbone of our economy.”

Arts Council CEO Paul Kennedy said the cut to the Arts Council’s budget would affect staff.

Photo: Chris Harty The arts agency was formed by former Prime Minister Kevin Rudd in 2014 and has received funding from the NSW Government.

The funding comes from the Australian Government’s Arts and Heritage Fund, which is administered by the NSW government.

Under the funding formula, the arts agency receives $2.5 million per year from the State Government, and $1 million per month from the Arts and Humanities Council.

Under a separate formula, Arts Council receives $3.3 million per annum from the federal Government, while the Humanities council receives $4.6 million.

Under that formula, arts and humanities agencies receive a total of $6.5 billion over three years, including $1.6 billion for arts and cultural services.

The Arts and Cultural Council says the cuts are being made in the wake of the closure of the National Theatre in 2015.

The move was announced at the start of the Arts Festival, a two-day event which runs from March 21 to May 9.

The organisation has previously said it would be looking to cut its funding by about $100 million.

“We have a lot of work to do and a lot to get right but the Arts Alliance has been fantastic,” Mr Kennett said.

The government has also been criticised for cutting funding for the ABC and SBS, which are both funded by the state Government.

In the past two years, arts funding in NSW has dropped by about 10 per cent, but the cuts will hit the arts further.

The ABC and the SBS have also had funding cut by about 40 per cent since 2016, while arts funding has fallen by nearly 30 per cent over the same period.

The Sydney Morning Herald reported in March that the arts were suffering from a “political crisis” in the state.

“They are being starved of funding and we have to start talking about it, because they are bleeding,” the paper quoted arts director Mark Scott as saying.

“I think the arts community will see the cuts as a blow to their confidence in their industry, and a real blow to the future of the arts in the region.”

Mr Scott said he expected a “real impact” on the arts and the state would be felt across NSW, and warned that the cuts would affect the arts “not just in Sydney, but across the state”.

He also said it was a “significant blow” to the artistic community.

The SBS and ABC have been funding arts in NSW since 2015.

Photo : Facebook The cuts are also expected to hit regional arts agencies as well.

“The Arts Council will continue its work to ensure that the services provided by regional arts and arts programs are met with the support and support we need,” Mr Scott added.

Mr Kennedy has previously expressed concerns about the state’s arts funding model.

In November, he said the Arts Funding Review should be changed to include more funding for arts programs in regional and remote areas.

“In a system where we don’t get the funding we need, I believe the arts have a right to be treated as a public good and that’s what the Arts Commission needs to do,” he said.


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