The Australia Council continues to support the inclusion of people with disabilities in the arts.
Our recent reorganisation is designed to enable the Council to be more strategic and less reactive. The Australia Council is now better positioned to respond to the needs of Australia’s diverse and complex arts sector and help secure it a vibrant and sustainable future — at the same time, creating opportunities for all Australians to engage with and importantly, enjoy a life that is enriched by the arts.
As part of this vision — and reflected in our ongoing work — the Australia Council strongly supports the inclusion of people with disabilities in the arts. We do not have a separate disability program; rather, disability arts practice is supported across the organisation through existing programs.
We also support Arts Access Australia, the national advocacy body for arts and disability. This organisation currently receives triennial funding, and in 2004-05 was supported to undertake a review of its effectiveness.
Our current funding to Arts Access Australia and the state and territory disability and the arts peak bodies is $1.2 million.
In our new structure, Community Partnerships will oversee support for arts and disability activities. This will include:
- An evaluation of the Council’s 2000-03 Disability Action Plan, and proposed strategic direction
- Triennial funding of Arts Access Australia, plus company development program funds
- Coordination of access strategies across the Council.
Between July and December 2005, the Council will conduct a scoping study that will propose new strategies and programs to achieve its policy objectives in Community Partnerships, including arts and disability.
The study will be developed and driven by the COuncil’s CEO Jennifer Bott and the new Director of Community Partnerships, with an external consultant(s) working with a reference group. The arts and disability sector will be one of the sectors we will consult with through this process, and we look forward to working with Arts Access Australia.
We are very happy to receive input on the key issues that need to be addressed by the scoping study; please contact Karilyn Brown, Executive Director of Community Partnerships and Market Development.