Submission to the National Cultural Policy

Recently the Federal Government put out a call for submissions to the National Cultural Policy, which will shape Australia’s arts, entertainment and cultural sector for the next decade. As an academic institution which works consistently in areas of cultural policy, ICS has submitted two responses to the call.

Co-authored by Cecelia Cmielewski, Ien Ang and Phillip Mar, the first submission focuses on the second pillar of the proposed new national cultural policy, ‘A place for every story: reflecting the diversity of our stories and the contribution of all Australians as the creators of culture’.  ICS has advocated for a more targeted, proactive policies to facilitate the flourishing of a cultural sector where cultural diversity is no longer peripheral to an otherwise mono-cultural mainstream, but a central component of it.  Authors recommended the following key principles to guide policy development to enable greater cultural diversity in arts and culture:

  • Truly relevant and energetic creative work will come from working across cultures
  • Building cultural capabilities is best served by developing strong cross-cultural partnerships
  • Locating arts practice within ‘culture cycles’ will facilitate a broader understanding of the diverse forms of ‘value’ generated by cultural expressions
  • Inclusive curatorial processes enhance the diversity of cultural expressions
  • Supporting diversity of cultural expressions will enhance art’s ability to resonate and make a difference

The second submission was co-authored by David Rowe, Tony Bennett and Deborah Stevenson and it makes recommendations based on three connected concerns: Centrality of the artists, strong institutions and reaching the audience. The following recommendations have been made in the submission:

  • The narrow concept of the ‘artist’ be broadened to that of the ‘cultural practitioner’ among many other ‘cultural citizens’, in recognising that a national cultural policy must be more expansive and inclusive than a national arts policy.
  • The strengths of cultural institutions should be assessed not primarily in terms of scale, prominence and longevity, but in their capacity to serve and encourage the multi-level and multi-form activities and tastes of a diverse cultural citizenry
  • more regular and systematic statistical monitoring and evaluation of the publics targeted and reached by publicly-funded cultural institutions and practices in order to ensure a more equitable distribution of funding across different sections of the Australian population

You can read the full submissions here.

Submission 1: co-authored by Cecelia Cmielewski, Ien Ang and Phillip Mar

Submission 2: co-authored by David Rowe, Tony Bennett and Deborah Stevenson