Over the past 12 months I have been privileged to work with a number of visual and performing artists, designers and community arts groups. Often the issues that they are facing are similar; how to build their arts business, how to make money, how to be better at what they do, how to promote their art or how to build their audiences.
The tricky part to this equation is that often there is little money and assistance available to make things happen. This is not just a frustration for the artists and performers.
This is a huge frustration for me when I see incredible work being produced that really does deserve greater exposure and celebration. The conundrum is how to find a way to support these individuals and groups in a realistic way that acknowledges the work that needs to be done, but is also achievable and not just another business plan. We are not talking about corporatising the arts. We know that funding is getting tighter and more competitive. The arts already contributes greatly to communities through festivals, events, exhibitions and a sense of cultural identity. This is about valuing the arts.
My current work with Tasmanian Regional Arts as coordinator of the Branching Out project, aligns well with my business, as we work with community arts groups to identify ways to build financial, social and community capacity. Working with project partners that include AbaF, arts@work, Women Tasmania, DEDTA, Business & Employment, Westpac & TasCOSS, we are working on different approaches.
Already our findings support the need for greater investment in supporting the creative community in a meaningful and practical way. I look forward to working with others to look at new and innovative models for supporting the creative industries.