Australian artists are calling for our political leaders to Invest in Artistic Courage

Published by: NAVA | 13-Mar-2019
Today NAVA launches its Invest in Artistic Courage campaign to inform the nation of the unique challenges faced by our artists and the need for ambitious and fair arts policy at the 'In these critical times' event at Perth Institute of Contemporary Arts (PICA) at midday. #artisticcourage @nava_visualarts
Artists Abdul-Rahman Abdullah, Kelli McCluskey, Nathan Beard, Tarryn Gill, Gabriel Nodea and Oron Catts have joined forces with campaign creators NAVA to bring to life the inspiring Invest In Artistic Courage campaign by performing a live read of the campaign script.

The campaign has been created to highlight how the past few years; approach to arts policy and funding has damaged the livelihood of Australian artists and the sustainability of the sector. If it continues, Australia is at risk of losing culture, talent, jobs and the local economies they power.

The campaign is calling for greater investment in artistic courage to ensure the survival of Australia's arts community, which plays a crucial role in fostering critical thinking and developing a vision for our country's future.

NAVA Executive Director Esther Anatolitis says, "Australia needs ambitious arts policy that invests in artistic courage. We need the voice of the artist to inform, invigorate and inspire the national political conversation. And - equally importantly - we need the national political conversation to inform, invigorate and inspire our artists.

"The visual arts are Australia's number one art form by participation - yet policy changes across recent years have disadvantaged individual artists the most. Artists' incomes are declining, the numbers of visual artists and craft practitioners are declining, and artists' fair pay and intellectual property rights are increasingly ignored. Despite working longer and harder than ever before, more and more artists are living precariously, it's taking longer for artists to become established, and the gender pay gap is worse in the arts than in any other industry.

"This is bad news for all the ways in which we imagine and create our future. Visionary leadership is needed. Leadership that understands that political leadership is cultural leadership, and that investment in artistic courage would strengthen our cultural heritage and the future of our artistic community," adds Ms Anatolitis.

Leading Australian artists will be lending their voices to the campaign, sharing what 'Invest in Artistic Courage' means to them over the coming weeks to deliver a compelling argument and garner community support for an ambitious art policy. The campaign will enable Australian audiences to better understand the critical role our artists play in inspiring national debate and political priorities.

This includes putting First Nations first; making fair pay at industry standards a condition of public funding; creating an Artistic Investment Framework that includes the Visual Arts & Crafts Strategy; increasing funding for the Australia Council and advancing copyright reform so artists can earn an income from their intellectual property, and many more.

"Now, more than ever, Australia needs to support its arts sector, because artists define what is possible. A nation that invests in artistic courage is a nation with the confidence to face unknown challenges and create a bold vision for our future," says Ms Anatolitis.

To find out more about "Invest in Artistic Courage visit

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