Data on the working lives of Australian artists has been combined into a comprehensive analytical report that looks at trends in the artist labour market going back to the ‘80s.
The analysis tells the remarkable story of a structural shift that occurred in the Australian arts sector in the first decade of the new millennium: an extraordinary increase in creative arts participation rates in the adult population coupled with a ‘crunch’ in professional artists’ employment.
The Department of the Environment, Water, Heritage and the Arts and the Australia Council have released research reports on artists’ employment, professional practice, and tax and social security issues that I worked on in 2009.
The research explored the nature of professional artists’ working lives and trends in the Australian artist labour market as a basis for policy development.
Has [creativity] become yet another specious item of jargon?
This question, posed by Negus and Pickering’s article creativity and cultural production (International Journal of Cultural Policy volume 6 number 2, 2000) was a key inspiration for my work on creativity. The end point of my creativity research, which was conducted in collaboration with Taryn Bloom, is summarised in Creatvitiy and arts policy, published in the Journal of Arts Management, Law and Society, volume 34, number 2, 2004:
When national governments enter into the realm of cultural policy, tensions are inevitable as the monolith of nation clashes with a pluralism of cultures. Eager to recruit culture for their own benefit, governments through history have proved adept at supporting cultures agreeable to them, but have been less disposed toward cultures they view as radical, different, or threatening. There are therefore good reasons to be critical when considering national cultural policies, even those of seemingly benign governments: whose cultures are being supported and why? Whose cultures are being ignored or suppressed and why?
IFACCA has released a research report I wrote on the arm’s length principle and the independence of arts support.
There are three essential ingredients to the paper:
- A literature review of the issues, the pros and cons of having a short arm and a long arm
- A review of models of arts policy and the development of a model to make the topic manageable. View the model here.
- Release of never-seen-before statistics from IFACCA, which are really interesting, although sadly a little out of date. It would be great to get some more recent data.