Don't Cut Creativity

An initiative to keep creativity alive in Australia. Say no to unemployment Federal Budget cuts.

Creativity Is Here To Stay

Creativity is the essence of society. It colours what would otherwise be a mundane experience. Not only does it generate innovation and new ways of thinking about things but it allows people to express themselves in different ways.

Welfare schemes give people the chance to chase their passions. It allows people the time and the financial resource to forgo the mainstream, investing their time and energy into their craft rather than being preoccupied with full-time work.

A society without creativity is a society without culture.

Here at #dontcutcreativity, we recognise the need for government funding and accessible financial assistance to keep creativity alive in Australia.

But more than that, we recognise the community spirit and the fight that people have put up to make sure that creativity remains a part of Australian society.

So here’s a shoutout to all he community funded groups, the people who take their time out to work with other creatives, our supporters here at #dontcutcreativity and anyone who believes in the creative spirit of Australia.

Creativity is so important to our cultural fabric and we should never, ever allow ourselves to become simply a society of “learners” or “earners”.

Thank you to all our supporters.

Don’t stop the fight. Creativity is worth keeping in Australia.

Education vs. Creativity: The future of society.

Here at #dontcutceativity, we love anything creative! Check out this video that was posted to our Facebook page. Such a great creative piece explaining why we need to change our society and reconsider the role of creativity in it.

Also, while you’re at it, why not like our Facebook page too? We’d love for you to share your thoughts, ideas and anything interesting with us!

Budget Breakdown

For those of you who are having a bit of a headache following all the Federal Budget talk, here’s a quick rundown of the changes the government is making to the current welfare system. Do you think that this is fair? Tell us your thoughts!

Read more about the proposed changes on the Australian Government’s Federal Budget Website.

Another win for creativity!

It appears that the government has backed down with some of the changes they proposed earlier in the year.

The government has made the decision to scrap the requirement for unemployed people to apply for 40 jobs per month.

Instead, it will stick to the current requirement of 20 job applications per month.

However, those seeking unemployed benefits will still be required to undertake 25 hours of work per week.

If this isn’t considered a win, then us here at #dontcutcreativity don’t know what is.

While we are thrilled with the dropping of the 40 jobs per month application, we believe that more can be done to keep the welfare system open to everyone, especially to benefit creative minds.

Requiring people to undertake 25 hours of work per week would seriously cut into the time they could be channeling into their creative work.

The fight isn’t over. With more public engagement, we can let the government know that we want a creative Australia, not just a society of labourers.

Help keep creativity alive by backing the welfare system and keeping it open to everyone.

Nonetheless, this is still a massive move forward for the creative community in Australia.

Tell us what you think about the changes in the comments below!

The Art World Fights Back

“Learn or earn”. This is the message that the Australian government is telling the public.

Either study or be employed in some form of work. There is no in-between.

The proposed changes to the current welfare system would see little time given to artists to work on their creativity.

As we all know, good things take time, particularly when it comes to the creative arts.

We have sayings that support this idea, sayings like “Rome wasn’t built in a day.”

Things of quality, things with enduring legacies, things that  have real cultural impact don’t just happen overnight.

They require time and effort.

The government’s insistence on creating a society of workers will put a severe dent in the creative market.

The creative industry, however, has fought back.

The proposed changes and funding cuts to TAFE institutions hasn’t stopped artists from the Licorice Allsorts arts group from charging ahead.

When state government funding was cut only one year into their three-year course, the Arts class decided to take matters into their own hands and exhibit their work themselves.

The group showcased their art at The Old Courthouse in Wollongong.

With artists taking initiative and overcoming adversity, it begs the question of how much more can be done with government aid.

Government funding cuts would see an Australian society absent of the creative arts.

We need to keep funding and keep the welfare system accessible so that everyone has a chance of pursuing their creative talents and not limiting it to only those who can afford it.

Read the article on the Licorice Allsort’s group here.

Creativity can boost the economy

They say that art and creativity is the essence of society, the thing that makes living worthwhile, adding colour to everyday life.

More than just making the human experience much more interesting than just a mundane existence, the creative industries contribute a significant proportion to the Australian economy.

In an article published in the Newcastle Herald, a 2011 study showed that the creative industry contributed $93.2 billion to the Australian economy, 6.6 per cent of the domestic gross profit.

A PriceaterhouseCoopers report indicated that 8 per cent of the Australian workforce s in the creative industry.

The creative industry is a broad term that includes “advertising, architecture, design, visual arts, music, performing arts, publishing, film, television, radio, electronic games,” as stated in the article.

But these people all had to start somewhere.

There may have been those who were financially capable of pursuing their careers through formalised education and achieved their dreams through those means.

There are also individuals in society who have talent but do not have the means to fund it.

We need to keep the welfare system in place and as accessible for people like this. Many successful creative people came from welfare backgrounds, noting that all they needed was to go on welfare for a small amount of time in the beginning, simply to give them a chance to devote their entire time to their craft without the distraction of full time work and a little bit of income to kickstart their careers.

The creative industry, as a sector, provides jobs and is an effective economic stimulant.

We should keep the welfare system as it is not only because creativity is integral to a vibrant society but also from a practical standpoint, it generates job and economic results.

Community Art

Creating art doesn’t just require financial support from the government. Community support and engagement is very much a part of the process.

Places like the Pine Street Creative Arts Centre, North Sydney Community Centre and other centres around Sydney and wider Australia are thriving hubs for creative types of all levels.

These centres offer support for artists, musicians and all sorts of creative types. They provide an outlet and creative working spaces for people, accessible by everyone.

The “learn or earn” debate eliminates the chances for people to pursue their dreams. People ar either required to be employed or study.

Creating art, performances and other such creative works require time and commitment and working or studying often detracts from this.

Having these spaces where people can retreat to and work with like-minded creatives offers a small respite in the busy working day chaos.

They provide workshops as well as a community that fosters creative growth and because they are not exclusive, people of all levels and economic backgrounds can participate and pursue their talents.

Social art and culture should not be limited to those who can afford it as this will effect the overall landscape. Talent can come from anywhere and any person. These community art spaces allow artistic participation and expression from everyone and ensure that creativity still maintains a local base.

Give the Beginners a Chance

It has emerged in the United Kingdom that professional composers are asked to produce new music for fees well below the average price.

A report by Sound and Music in the UK revealed startling statistics that showed “66% of the 466 composers who responded stated they do not find commissions to be a significant proportion of their income. Given that the respondents had an average of 2.65 commissions in 2013 with an average fee per commission of £1,392”, as stated in an article by The Guardian.

These results raised questions about what the future of music is going to look like, particularly for budding composers.

If we see trends like these appearing in the Australian music scene, there becomes less incentive for people to pursue music as a viable career path. Particularly, with there being restrictions to who can receive the dole and how accessible it is, not having a sustainable income is going to drive people away from starting a career in music.

As The Guardian article states,

“It… means that new voices are blocked from emerging… It takes heroic commitment to become a composer if you’re from a working class background, with higher education courses charging fees in the thousands of pounds and remuneration for your compositions so low.”

Cutting the dole, making it harder for people to access it removes the possibility of people abusing the system but it also punishes people who rely on it so that they can contribute to the arts and culture industry.

We need to keep the welfare system as it is so that people can continue to add to the cultural landscape in Australia or we risk living in a society where arts and music is created by only those who can afford it.

And In The Art World…

You can still catch the works of talented Australian artists of Archibald, Wynne and Sulman Prizes 2014 at the Art Gallery of NSW.

They will be running until the 28th September and will exhibit some of the finest works from Australian artists.

The winner of the Archibald Prize this year is Fiona Lowry with her portrait of Penelope Seidler.

Australia has a buzzing artistic landscape. Let’s keep the dole so that we can continue cultivating arts and culture in Australia. Who knows, maybe a future Archibald Prize winner could be out there and only needs a little welfare help to get started.

Check out Fiona Lowry and her winning portrait in the video below:

More details about the exhibition can be found at the Art Gallery of NSW’s website.

They’re famous now but who else was once on the dole?

The dole has helped many people in the creative industry. Some you may recognise as big names in the creative industries.

Early in their careers, they ended a little help and they got it. The welfare system kicked off their careers, giving the much needed time and money to focus on their work.

In an earlier post, we mentioned Wil Anderson, an Australian comedian who was previously the host and executive producer for the highly successful advertising show, The Gruen Transfer series and later spin-off’s such as Gruen Nation and Gruen Planet, as well as the host of popular podcasts Wilosophy and TOFOP and all round talented stand up comedian. Without a helping hand from the government in the form of welfare payments in the beginning, there may not have been the comedian we now know and love as a nation named Wil Anderson.

Someone else that would have got lost in the works had there not been an accessible welfare system in place is none other than Bernard Fanning of Cold Chisel fame. The band member himself stated in an article titled Australian Idle that “My career highlight would be going off the dole, being able to earn a living.”

Many other people who are now successful have been on the dole at some point in their lives, including Emma-Kate Croghan, writer and director of the 90’s low budget movie Love and Other Catastrophes. 

Many notable Australians have been on welfare in order to get their careers going and we need to continue to make sure that the system stays accessible because you never know where talent may be lurking.

Read more of the Australian Idle article here: http://www.theage.com.au/news/arts/australian-idle/2006/07/27/1153816322194.html