Arts South Australia, the SA Government’s arts agency, will be hit by a $4.9 million contraction in funding in 2018-2019 following a cost-slashing State Budget handed down earlier this month, according to ArtsHub (paywalled site). Staffing at the agency will be reduced by “least a 42%” as a result, it says.
This latest news marks a continuing shake-up of Arts South Australia (formerly Arts SA) that began with the Steven Marshall Government’s surprise dismissal of Peter Louca, its Executive Director, in August. Following this came a major shift of parts of the agency’s portfolio to other government departments, including contemporary music to the Department of Industry and Skills. Youth arts organisation Carclew, which runs a number of music programs for school-age children, was moved to the Department for Education.
The downgrading of Arts South Australia has sent the State’s arts sector “reeling”, says ArtsHub. Gail Kovatseff, Chair of the Arts Industry Council of South Australia (AICSA), has criticised the changes as having been made without consultation, it goes on to say.
Meanwhile the new Marshall Government has stuck by two of its pre-election promises. These were to increase grant funding to artists by $1 million per annum, and to implement a new Arts Plan that it says will support new artists and develop corporate and philanthropic investment in the arts.