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Over 700 sign open letter urging arts ministers to reject MPA funding framework

More than 700 artists and arts workers have signed an open letter addressed to state arts ministers as they meet today in Adelaide to discuss revisions to the Major Performing Arts (MPA) framework.

Published by the Daily Review, the letter urges arts ministers to withhold their endorsement of the revised MPA framework, ‘as a first step to dismantling the framework altogether’. Without ‘significant, structural change’, the letter states, the small-medium and independent arts sector will collapse, ‘precipitating a crisis in the national arts ecology’.

Signatories to the letter include UWA Publishing director Terri-ann White, writer and critic Alison Croggon, screenwriter, author and broadcaster Benjamin Law, and authors Claire G Coleman, Kirsten Krauth and Wayne Macauley.

The letter notes that the group of MPA organisations—which includes 10 orchestras, five opera companies, eight theatre companies, and three ballet companies—collectively receives a subsidy of $31.50 per audience member, whereas the small-to-medium and independent sector receives a subsidy of $3.36 per audience member. This means that the MPAs receive nine times the subsidy of the small-to-medium and independent sector, which, the letter states, receives around a quarter of their Australia Council funding but delivers twice the audience numbers (6.87 million compared to 3.37 million in 2014–15).

The letter also makes arguments regarding ‘sector diversity, financial inequity, economic investment and sustainability’, stating, ‘Across all measures, the independent and small-medium sector is the lifeblood of the national arts ecology. This sector, on which Australian culture depends for its productivity, efficiency and international reputation, is on the verge of collapse.’



Category: Local news