Artists need to look at how they set up and maintain funding for their career. There are Other Funding Models For The Arts outside government money.
The welcomed return of the arts funding (18.3.2017) which was cut in 2015 should not make any artist think that their future is safe. Senator Fifield announced the return of $80.2 million over the next four years. This is not a step forward. For the groups that had their funding cut, it may still be a step back. And, the government could cut the funding again at any time.
There are so many other options for arts funding
At the Art: Not Apart, Shaken Up: Canberra Arts funding panel discussion 18/3/2017, we heard a variety of speakers talk about the arts in Canberra and what funding means to an artist.
There were some great suggestions from the panel for artists to fund their careers…
- Build a community around your art
- Project funding — set up funding around a specific project and get your arts buddies involved
- Find investors — they are out there and they are looking for longevity in an artist’s career
- Keep connecting to your fan base
- Try crowdfunding options, Kickstarter
- Look for a patron
- Try subscription-based funding
- Your website must have an international feel to attract overseas interest
Stay tuned to Art: Not Apart. You may be hearing more about the funding and announcements for the Canberra art scene.
The further we move away from government funding of the arts the better it will be for the arts
We’ve seen what governments do to funding for the arts. In 2016 Brandis gutted arts funding. 65 arts organisations lose funding from Australia Council.
This sort of rubbish can destroy an arts group. All the years it took to put it together, all the effort, the passion, gone in an instant. Without consultation. Maybe we should start to think about the type of governments that we elect.
Arts groups need to build up their own funding model. An independent arts company can get their message out without having to worry about any restraints or backlash from people who have no idea about the value of the arts.
However, some groups will always need government funding. There are regional and special needs groups that require this funding and it should only ever be increased.
Arts communities are the answer
Inclusive arts communities should be celebrated. They are the model to follow. That said, whatever sort of arts group you start, you must have a business plan.
Applying for grants from a government may seem like an obvious choice when beginning an arts group, but grants don’t last forever. And then there’s the restrictions and the requirements that need to be met. All that takes the focus off your art.
There are several successful Artist Run Initiatives (ARI) across Australia. Have a chat with some of them to see how they set themselves up.
Unique, quality art will help maintain your community
There will always be a strong demand for quality art. Artists know how to produce it, but they don’t know how to manage it. And, why should they, they are artists, not arts managers. But, today, an artist needs to be a manager and promoter if they want to succeed.
It’s an incredible shame that there are few arts management businesses in Australia. A dedicated arts management group might solve some of the funding issues an artist goes through.
No one post on the internet is going to offer all the answers to funding your arts career or group. The best advice we can offer is to create a business plan.
Make a plan, it’s the only place to start
You are obviously a passionate artist, otherwise, you wouldn’t be reading this. Put part of that passion into building a strong arts community to support your arts practice. Look at what others have done, choose points from the best of them, workshop the ideas, organise your funding, make a plan, and get to it.
Maybe then, living that dream of a life submerged in the arts will come true.