Peak body makes impassioned plea for more arts funding

RTR General Manager Stu MacLeod.
RTR General Manager Stu MacLeod.

THE Chamber of Arts and Culture WA has launched a six-week campaign to highlight the value of the creative sector.

The ‘Art Improves Lives’ campaign wants to shine a spotlight on the positive contribution the arts make to the lives of Western Australians, and lobby the Government to increase investment in the field.

Henry Boston, Executive Director of the Chamber, said the arts sector was in danger unless it received more funding.

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“We have called for an election commitment from all political parties to stop the funding cuts and to pledge at least an increase of $100 million over four years to revive the sector and ensure the continuation and expansion of community programs,” he said.

“The impact of continuing cuts to the arts budget has already been felt across the sector, and it won’t be long before it begins to impact on the State’s bottom line.

“The sector contributes $10.6 billion to the state economy and employs over 42,000 people but reduced investment is driving job losses across the industry.”

Chamber member RTRFM 92.1 is taking part in the initiative.

RTR General Manager Stu MacLeod, whose band Eskimo Joe is one of WA’s most successful musical exports, said investment in the arts was of paramount importance.

“The arts matter in any state, in any country, in any society,” Mr MacLeod said.

“We are constantly told that our world is in danger; that we are fighting a war with these people, with those people, a war on terror, a war on drugs… Artists provide us with a respite from all this.

“It’s important that the arts are supported by the State Government because for far too long now it seems it’s taken the arts for granted.

“In an industry with an ever-shrinking pool of funds, there is only so much that artists can do to survive whilst creating their art.

“I shudder to think of what Perth would be without its arts industry and without independent arts organisations like RTRFM.”

To find out more about ‘Arts Improves Lives’ visit www.cacwa.org.au or follow the campaign on Facebook.