"Canberra thinktank A New Approach put out an interesting paper last week on
the state of public funding for Australian arts and culture.
The report made some bold statements about the level of support given to the
arts and culture during the pandemic.
Most notably, A New Approach claims “arts and culture organisations and
businesses accessed more than $4 billion of COVID support in the last four
months of the 2019–20 financial year.”
The big number would have surprised many in the cultural sector who struggled
through the pandemic with little or no government support.
Sure enough, the figure was picked up in an article for the Nine newspapers,
which led with the headline “Billions in crisis payments paid to the arts”.
With prominent contemporary music venues in both Sydney and Melbourne
announcing their closure last week, you could be forgiven for asking where all
those billions went.
Unfortunately for the cultural sector, if you drill down into the statistics
the $4 billion number is indeed too good to be true. A New Approach has
misinterpreted some fuzzy data from the federal government, dramatically
over-estimating the amount of support given to Australian culture in 2020."
*** Xanni ***
Chief Scientist, Xanadu
Partner, Glass Wings
Manager, Serious Cybernetics