The art of international promotion
16 April 2007
Minister for Arts and Sport, Senator George Brandis, and Shadow Minister for the Arts, Peter Garrett MP, will be at the University of Sydney on 17 April to launch the publication Australian Arts: Where the Bloody Hell Are You?
Senator Brandis and Mr Garrett will discuss their parties' arts policies as we head towards this year's federal election. The pair will also answer questions from a panel consisting of Robyn Nevin, Artistic Director of the Sydney Theatre Company; Miriam Cosic, Arts Editor at The Australian; and Associate Professor Peter McCallum of the University of Sydney.
About the book
Our artists travel the world performing, exhibiting and collaborating with other artists. They bring back their ideas and experiences. These global cultural flows, both inwards and outwards, have a great influence on Australian arts practice.
At a University of Sydney symposium on 8 December 2006, artists, arts administrators
and academics examined these influences and considered Australia's international arts profile: "an unfenced zoo" according to one participant, a unique space for a distinctly Australian vision, according to another.
The forum also considered available resources for international practice and showcased success stories. The day's key question was: Does Australia need its own arts advocacy council ― like the Alliance Française or the British Council?
The German government spends over €160 million a year on arts advocacy and cultural diplomacy through its network of Goethe-Instituts. The Chinese government has recently moved to set up over 120 university-based Confucius Institutes in over 50 countries.
Australia's expenditure on international cultural exchange reflects a distinctly lower priority, with the government, through the Australia Council, allocating $7.4 million on international activities in 2005-06. Are we missing the boat?
This book examines cultural advocacy not as a one-way process, but as a means of facilitating cultural flows that benefit both artists and society. It outlines the substantial benefits of international cultural exchange and draws conclusions on what solutions would best serve Australia's current circumstances.
A doubling or trebling of Australia's current expenditure would enable the public to enjoy more fully the fruits of those who are currently Australia's biggest arts subsidisers: the artists themselves.
The publication is edited by three University of Sydney academics: Ian Maxwell, Chair of the Department of Performance Studies; John Clark, Director of the Australian Centre for Asian Art and Archaeology; and Peter McCallum, Academic Advisor to the Office of the Provost and Deputy Vice Chancellor.
What: Launch of Australian Arts: Where the Bloody Hell Are You? Australian Arts in an International Context, published by Sydney University Press
When: 6pm, Tuesday 17 April 2007
Where: Seymour Centre, Cnr Cleveland St and City Rd, The University of Sydney.
Contact: Nicholas Haskins
Phone: 02 9036 7219