As if the arts sector isn’t having it tough enough, the Australia Council has announced a list of 95 organisations to receive four-year funding going forward, but significantly cutting grants to all companies by 70 per cent across the next 12 months. The reason for the scaling back is in order to extend grants by an extra year for 49 companies who were successful in the 2016 four-year plan allocations rather than defund them immediately (see end of article for a full list). Meanwhile, other companies, like WA’s Blue Room Theatre and Pinchgut Opera, have learned that their hopes of achieving ongoing funding have been unsuccessful.

While the current plan lessens the immediate pain for companies set to lose ongoing funding – including major players like Art Gallery of South Australia, Australian Theatre for Young People, Barking Gecko Theatre Company, Ensemble Offspring, La Mama Theatre, Shaun Parker & Company, Sydney Writers Festival and The Song Company – it presents significant challenges for the entire arts community over the months ahead.

Australia Council CEO Adrian Collette said the new measures, delivered within the Council’s existing budget, were essential during this “critical period” when the cultural and creative sectors are experiencing “immediate and...

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