Rising costs seal venue’s fate

End of an era... Fremantle arts institution Kulcha is closing.
End of an era... Fremantle arts institution Kulcha is closing.

Despite three decades of promoting cultural diversity and acceptance in the State, the Multicultural Arts of WA Inc, better known as Kulcha, will close because of funding issues.

All upcoming events have been cancelled, including the Oz Concert 2014 production.

Kulcha president Jon Strachan attributed the closure to rising costs.

‘Costs of running an arts business and the lack of support for our multicultural artists from the State Government, means Kulcha is no longer able to survive,’ he said.

According to the Kulcha board, low core funding from the Department of Culture and the Arts, on top of minimal support from the Office of Multicultural Interests, combined with WA’s economy, meant the reduction of sponsorship and philanthropic support.

The board said the Government declined to assist Kulcha in reaching its recapitalisation target of $150,000 to $200,000, while the office of Multicultural Interests did not support grant applications in 2013.

Kulcha chief executive Jon Cope said it was a sad outcome for WA’s multicultural community.

The Chamber of Arts and Culture WA described the closure as a ‘sad loss’ to the State.

Chamber executive director Henry Boston said Kulcha was one of the few arts organisation that gave multicultural voices in WA mainstream exposure.

‘The demise of Kulcha will be sorely felt by the artists and audience that it has served over its 30 years of operation,’ he said.

‘The chamber is keen to hear how this significant gap in cultural services will be addressed by the State Government, not just through its arts funding body but through the Office of MultiCultural Interests if the Government is serious about investing in the creative potential of all West Australians.’