The Andrews Labor Government has announced a new strategy to stimulate the creative arts sector in Victoria, with the aim of seeing the state secure a reputation as a leading cultural destination and national creative leader. The four-year strategy, Creative State 2025, will see $288 million injected into the state’s art sector, stimulating job growth and remedying the instability brought by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Arts Centre Melbourne. Photo © David Simmonds.

“A strong creative sector benefits all Victorians and this investment will create jobs and deliver economic, social and cultural dividends to our state, as well as supporting the creative industries as they recover from the pandemic,” said Danny Pearson, Minister for Creative Industries

Creative State 2025 aims to address key issues that face the state’s arts sector, many preceding but exacerbated by the pandemic over the last 18 months. This includes the unstable, project-based employment structures that are common within the sector. The strategy will see the creation of 60,000 new jobs for the state’s arts community, as well as helping to upskill and diversify the creative industry’s workforce. Many of these opportunities will be specifically geared towards promoting First Peoples artists into positions of leadership.

“The past year highlighted the central role that creativity plays in the lives of all Victorians – Creative State 2025 reflects that reality, placing creativity at the heart of Victoria’s future prosperity,” said Pearson.

This job creation is part of 25 actions laid out in the strategy to be enacted over the next four years. These actions are categorised into five areas of improvement in a document published by Creative Victoria. 

The first category will see actions intended to grow and strengthen a diverse workforce, including the creation of stable employment opportunities, including for First Peoples and individuals with disabilities; increased access to training hubs and accredited training programs; and overall ensuring the strength and stability of the sector moving into the future beyond 2025.

The second category aims to stimulate the creation of innovative creative products and experiences. This will include enhancing the development of Victorian First Peoples creative products and experiences throughout the dedicated funding pathways across all Creative Victoria grant programs; as well as providing creative and flexible grants and funding pathways, and investing in innovative creative content of all sizes.

The third category will aim to stabilise and grow Victoria’s arts industry, through investing in major non-government arts organisations. This will also see extra funding provided to Victoria’s screen industry through VICSREEN, a dedicated sub-strategy that hopes to continue interest in the state’s industry on an international scale.

The fourth category is geared towards establishing equitable access to the state’s arts industry. This will see enhanced funding and growth of arts infrastructure, including the development of an “18,000 square metre immersive public garden” and the new NGV Contemporary gallery. Additionally, Arts Centre Melbourne will receive major upgrades to the Theatres building. This will also include the growing access of educational arts-based content for schools to help ensure the strength of the industry’s future.

The final category aims to develop new markets and audiences throughout the state’s arts sector. This will include promoting and building a market for First Peoples developed content with a biennial Art and Design fair, and increasing access to international markets through growing trade platforms such as the Australian Performing Arts Market. 

One of the key aspects of the four-year strategy will see all the actions regarding First Peoples cultures and arts addressed first, by taking direct guidance from Creative Victoria’s First Peoples Directions Circle in program implementation, ensuring industry-wide awareness training, and a commitment to employing more First Peoples at Creative Victoria. More detail on this aspect of the strategy can be found of Creative Victoria’s website.

“Victoria is the creative state for a reason, rich with talent and cultural offerings – this is all about growing a proud, resilient and world-class industry,” said Pearson.

More information about Creative State 2025 can be found here.

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