MEDIA RELEASE COURTESY OF: CCDNSW
Major cultural support organisation Community Cultural Development NSW has its funding application rejected by Arts NSW after 25 years of service. The impact of the Arts NSW funding cut is reaching State-wide, across artists, organisations and communities.
For every Australian whos been enchanted by the vibrant creative events at community celebrations, chances are theres a team of community artsworkers behind the scenes, working with the locals and making it all happen.
And behind the community artsworkers is Community Cultural Development NSW (CCDNSW), an organisation that has been serving those artsworkers and Australian communities for 25 years, keeping their knowledge and skills current, lobbying on their behalf, providing referrals and advice to help them get work, operate within a community context and navigate the sometimes confusing path through funding application processes.
Now this organisation has been de-prioritised by the NSW State Government, with Arts NSW declining to fund the peak service organisation in 2010.
This turn of events comes at a time when community appreciation and involvement in the arts appears as a guiding principle of Arts NSWs Strategic Plan, while the Department of Arts, Sport and Health is aiming to increase community participation in cultural activities and in volunteering in the arts.
Lex Marinos OAM, CCDNSWs Board Chair today said: The reality is that only a small percentage of Australians intersect with the arts as far as attendance at the traditional (and traditionally funded) cultural venues goes. The vast majority include cultural activity as part of their lives through grass-roots community activities the types of activities imagined, created, and made possible by the artsworkers helped by CCDNSW.
For CCDNSWthe impact of the funding decision has far reaching outcomes. Its Australia Council funding is contingent upon Arts NSWs support, so if State funding is not reinstated by 12 March CCDNSW will have no option but to close its doors.
The withdrawal of Australia Council funding will see $170,000 pulled out of the community arts and cultural development sector a massive blow to both the greater Sydney area and regional communities across the State.
This is a scandal. Not only does it see four of the States most dedicated artsworkers unemployed, it will result in a loss of skills and expertise in a vitally important sector. For ArtsNSW to not consider the importance of a subsequent loss of $170,000 in federal arts support at a time when arts funding is tight across the board - is disgraceful. said Marinos, who shares the CCDNSW Boards view that the funding process has serious flaws and inconsistencies and lacks transparency.
For now, CCDNSW has put its programs on hold, but the organisation is calling for media and arts community support and is opening discussion on its Facebook page and through the Soapbox on www.ccdnsw.org in a bid to have its funding application to Arts NSW reconsidered. This would also secure the Australia Council contribution, which includes a significant amount of federal support for CCDNSWs peer organisation Regional Arts NSW. Show your support for CCDNSW by visiting their contact here; join the group, leave a testimonial, message of support, get more information and join the discussion.