Broadening the National Performing Arts Partnership Framework

Marrugeku-Emmanuel-James-Brown-in-Jurrungu-Ngan-ga-2021-photo-by-Abby-MurrayEight additional key arts and cultural institutions across Australia will now receive ongoing funding under the National Performing Arts Partnership Framework, as part of the Federal Government’s investment in building an arts and cultural sector for all Australians.

The supported organisations to be added to the program under the National Performing Arts Partnership Framework will bring the total number to 38. This is a step change in the number of organisations to benefit from the stability afforded by long-term Government funding.

The National Performing Arts Partnership Framework is a collaboration with states and territories administered through the Australia Council, which aims to bring more diversity and innovation to our national performing arts organisations.

The new entrants are:

  • Artback NT (Darwin, Northern Territory)
  • Back to Back Theatre (Geelong, Victoria)
  • Dancenorth Australia (Townsville, Queensland)
  • Griffin Theatre Company (Sydney, New South Wales)
  • Ilbijerri (Melbourne, Victoria)
  • Marrugeku Inc (Broome, Western Australia)
  • Terrapin Puppet Theatre (Hobart, Tasmania)
  • Windmill (Adelaide, South Australia)

Minister for Communications, Urban Infrastructure, Cities and the Arts, the Hon Paul Fletcher MP, said the Framework would provide vital support to these leading performing arts companies.

“These eight new organisations will significantly broaden the scope of the Partnership Framework and reflect the importance of arts and culture being for all Australians, not just those in the inner-city areas of our capital cities,” said Minister Fletcher.

“This announcement builds on the strength of the 30 existing partners of the Framework, improving arts access in regional and remote communities, and increasing collaboration in the wider performing arts industry.”

This is the first time an organisation from the Northern Territory and regional organisations from Queensland, Western Australia and Victoria have been included in the Framework.

Geelong’s Back to Back Theatre is delighted to be included in the Framework. Inspired by its own ensemble of actors who are perceived to have intellectual disabilities and based in Geelong Victoria, Back to Back Theatre is a leading voice in contemporary world theatre and one of Australia’s most important cultural exporters.

Its inclusion in the NPAF acknowledges the significance of small and medium sized companies within the Australian arts industry landscape and the importance of hearing diverse voices within our community.

Most pressingly, it will allow the company the long term surety of funding to continue its expansions into varied art forms and processes of creative exploration of ideas.

“We are thrilled to have been invited to join the National Performing Arts Partnerships Framework,” said Back to Back Theatre Executive Producer and Co-CEO Tim Stitz. “Joining the Framework will provide our company – and most importantly our artists – a strengthened bedrock from which to experiment and create new work.”

“It is significant that the Framework includes new entrants from the Australia’s strong small-to-medium arts sector, and that Back to Back Theatre, as well as others in the seven new entrants, provide increased representation of our diverse national communities, and particularly for artists that experience a disability, and regional artists and companies.”

Griffin Theatre Company Chair Bruce Meagher said the funding is an extraordinary opportunity for the company which has launched the careers of so many of Australia’s most celebrated playwrights, actors and designers.

“It recognises the hard work and achievements of many individuals in supporting and growing Griffin to be where it is today,” said Mr Meagher. “It is a particular testament to the artistic vision of Declan Greene, building on the amazing legacy of his predecessor Lee Lewis.”

Marrugeku’s Chairperson, Debra Pigram, said the invitation to the NPAPF was a proud moment in the history of the company. “Marrugeku has developed an extraordinary repertoire of Intercultural, trans-indigenous work, that is carving its touring network globally, from Indigenous communities in the Kimberley, regional Australia, capital cities and around the world,” she said.

“Joining the NPAPF continues this trajectory to be a major participant in the Australian, indeed the global, cultural network landscape. Marrugeku is honoured to be joining such distinguished company.”

Australia Council CEO Adrian Collette AM said the eight new Partnership Organisations represented the potential of the new Framework to reflect and promote the diversity of Australian performing artists and organisations.

“It’s wonderful to see more opportunities for our performing arts companies, including those delivering innovative and important works in our regional communities, to join the national Partnership Framework which will help to build a stronger, more sustainable and vibrant performing arts sector for the benefit of all Australians,” said Mr Collette.

For more information on the National Performing Arts Partnership Framework, visit: for details.

Image: Emmanuel James Brown in Jurrungu Ngan-ga, Marrugeku, 2021 – photo by Abby Murray