Wednesday, May 18, 2011

ARTS HUB article MONDAY 16 May 2011

Groundswell researching NSW multicultural arts


Following the work of GROUNDSWELL, Arts NSW has approved a Scoping Study to research the need for a peak body and the development of an arts policy for the multicultural arts sector for NSW.
Unlike other states in Australia, NSW is sadly lacking in support for multicultural professional arts practice. While there is a lot of support for emerging artists and communities, says GROUNDSWELL initiator, Annalouise Paul, ‘Where are they going to emerge to?’ There is a need to put a strategic plan in place, so that those who are mid-career now can mentor and support a broadening professional arts practice for those working in the multicultural arts area.
GROUNDSWELL is a sector-driven forum for the ongoing dialogue, promotion, advocacy and development of cultural diversity within professional arts practice in Australian arts and media. They are working with Communities Arts NSW for the establishment of a 'peak advocacy body' and multicultural arts policy.
‘NSW has suffered from a 10 year gap,’ says Paul, falling behind other states. Those who were once involved in advocacy have been burnt out, it had just become 'too hard', and the previous programs such as the Multicultural Arts Alliance and Carnavale have been dismantled. Many of us working in the sector had been doing our own thing without knowing that there were others feeling a similar need for support, says Paul. It needed new blood and serendipitously multicultural arts seems to be back in favour.
The project was initiated thanks to a year of work by Annalouise Paul; with GROUNDSWELL’S first public forum being held last October entitled ‘Creative Thinkers Creative Solutions’. The forum attracted over 50 participants from a wide variety of backgrounds, including artists, arts workers, arts companies and organisations, federal, state and local government authorities. Speakers included Lyndon Terracini, Artistic Director of Opera Australia, Jill Morgan, Executive Officer, Multicultural Arts Victoria, Gary Paramanathan from Information and Cultural Exchange (ICE) in Western Sydney that works with emerging and newly arrived communities, and Peter Mousaferiadis, founder and director of Cultural Infusion.
The outcomes of the forum were delivered as a report in November to Virginia Judge MP, then Minister for the Arts, Arts NSW and Australia Council for the Arts. Over the summer meetings were held with (former) Arts Minister MP Virginia Judge and Shadow Arts Minister, Anthony Roberts prior to the NSW election. It seemed the time was right as both political parties were supportive and enthusiastic, Paul says.
Following the submission of a proposal for seed funding to Arts NSW in March 2011, a research study into the needs and issues multicultural arts sector is about to be undertaken and will be conducted by an independent research consultant during June-July 2011.
As well as looking to NSW artists and arts organizations for their involvement the research hopes to study multicultural arts policy and models from around Australia to establish current issues and best practice in the sector.
Groundswell and Communities Arts are seeking the support of independent artists, arts workers and organisations both across metropolitan and regional NSW to participate in the research. People and organisations interested in being part of the research from other states are also welcome.
The committee members of GROUNDSWELL are Annalouise Paul, Zacha Rosen, Vimala Sarma, Monica Scagliarini and Carolina Triana.
The consultant researcher will soon be announced.
To express interest in participating in the research or to register for updates visit the GROUNDSWELL micro-(3 question)-survey click here .
For more info on Arts NSW Scoping Study go to

Original article at Artshub.

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