Australia Council releases Annual Report

tony-grybowski-rupert-myerAustralian artists and arts organisations benefited from $174.8 million in funding from the Australia Council for the Arts during 2012-13, with continued focus on investment in artistic vibrancy, excellence and sustainability across the sector.

Australia Council Chair, Rupert Myer AM, acknowledged that this was the last Annual Report under the 1975 Act, and extended his thanks to staff, peers, Council and art form board members, and the arts sector for their support and contributions during this transformative time in the Council’s history.

“The Council is delighted to have provided funding for such a richly diverse and talented group of artists and arts organisations during this past year, highlighting the level of excellence and creative imagination across art forms and geographic locations,” says Mr Myer AM.

“The breadth of international projects and audience engagement strongly expresses Australia’s cultural profile overseas, and the vibrancy of our arts sector,”

Australia Council Chief Executive Officer, Tony Grybowski, said 2012-13 was a strong year for the Council with the number of artistic works presented increasing by 37 per cent from the year before, most notably in literature works, community partnership projects, regional touring programs and arts development programs, such as Hopscotch and Art Fare.

Key outcomes in the Annual Report include:

  • 15 million attendances at Australia Council supported activities
  • 2,021 grants and projects funded by the Australia Council
  • 8,856 new artistic works created with Australia Council support
  • 7,034 new artistic works presented, performed, published or exhibited with Australia Council support
  • 1,019 individual artists funded (directly and devolved*)
  • 168 organisations funded through Key Organisations multi-year grants and the Major Performing Arts Framework

The Council delivered a number of international initiatives designed to strengthen the profile of Australian artists overseas and increase opportunities for market development and cultural exchange.

Flagship international initiatives included the Venice Biennale, Lena Nyabi Barramundi Scales on the rooftop of the Musée Du Quai Branly in Paris, Nashville Songwriter Residency pilot, and International Symposium on Electronic Art.

Council funding also supported programs focused on increasing participation in the arts in under represented communities, including regional arts, multicultural arts, and artists and audiences with a disability. Initiatives included:

  • $8.7 million for international activities by Australian artists and arts organisations
  • $7.9 million for arts and cultural activities with a predominantly Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander focus
  • $21.1 million for arts and cultural activities with a predominantly regional focus
  • $5.4 million for the Regional Touring Program, including $4.7 million with a national focus.

“With the recent changes that have occurred to the governance structure of the Australia Council, there is a strong sense of renewal and engagement with the sector,” says Mr Grybowksi.

“The new board is leading work on a five-year strategic plan which will be reflective of the functions of the Australia Council as prescribed in the new Act, and implemented through a rolling Corporate Plan. The current planning process will redefine our strategic focus and enhance the way we support the arts in Australia.”

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Image: Tony Grybowski and Rupert Myer AM – courtesy of the Australia Council