In Wednesday’s (3/13) Australian, Matthew Westwood writes, “Labor [Party government] will boost funding for young artists, overhaul the Australia Council and launch an ‘excellence pool’, in a long-awaited cultural policy that aims to set the nation’s creativity agenda for the next decade. Arts Minister Simon Crean will announce funds of $20.8 million (a 30 per cent increase) to six elite training organisations today, including the national youth orchestra and circus school. Every federal [Member of Parliament] will get $23,500 to help support ‘creative young stars’ in their electorates. … Six training organisations will share the $20.8m funding injection: the National Institute of Dramatic Art, the Australian Ballet School, Australian Youth Orchestra, Flying Fruit Fly Circus School, NAISDA indigenous dance college and the National Institute of Circus Arts. About 1200 young artists collectively attend these organisations each year. Federal funding for the Australian Youth Orchestra, many of whose musicians go on to jobs with professional orchestras, would increase from $1.7m to about $2.5m, said general manager Colin Cornish. The increase was a ‘significant boost’ for the 65-year-old organization, he said.”

Posted March 13, 2013