Emerging from the Open Space discussions, key priority areas will be discussed in further detail with breakout groups devising a series of strategies and actions. FACILITATOR: Wesley Enoch

Post coffee and a biscuit (well two biscuits… I needed them…) we now confront the tough work of the Forum… detail around the key topic areas.

Yesterday’s discussions have been distilled down to ten key focus points. And we have been asked to choose one topic to contribute 5 action points (recommendations) for these topics:

Supporting Independents
Mobility and Touring
Partnerships & Collaborations
Creativity & Imagination
New Ways of Managing
Arts Action – Politics and Money
Digital, NBN & New Oportunities
Young people and theatre
Sustainability (environmental)
Mix it up – Diversity & Barriers.

You hold the memory of all you’ve discussed. Take that into the next discussions.
Some practical outcomes are already in train. Take them into the next discussions.
Be practical.
Only delegate to people in the group.
Don’t rely on a committee to do it.

So off I went… after pin-balling between a lot of groups – Supporting Independents (decided to be filled in by Sam Hawker over a cup of tea later) then Mix it up (decided that Candy Bowers could be my voice for that one) and thought I should in my Shopfront capacity/love of grassroots and emerging playwrights to the Youth Theatre group (Decided i would leave that to Jane Howard to write up) and so I landed in Arts Action – Politics and Money chaired by Brenna Hobson – which I think is probably where I could learn and listen the most in…

It’s timely especially since the Cultural Policy discussion is warming up.

It’s also quite interesting after a rather heated discussion on my facebook page (which I posted here ) between an arts academic and a newly appointed Associate artist – both who were very protective of the current funding models and ideas around who is entitled to call themselves an artist. Interesting to me because I think the waiting for legitimization by an institution is one of the problems with the dull, white, middle-class, over-educated arts sector. I don’t think a piece of paper from an institution makes an artist. I think practice makes an artist.

There are lots of questions buzzing around… what do we think about what we need culturally? What do artists need to ask for? What are our priorities? –
Should there be a stipend for artists?
How do you authenticate who an artist is?
How do you validate who an artist is?
Should it be a membership based standard?
But do you nominate as an artist at the Tax office?
Where is the discussion about cultural citizenship in the cultural policy document?
Should these discussions be driven more by cultural/arts sector NOT bureaucracy?
Is there an interest about supporting the $20 million touring/cultural exchange plan?
Why aren’t there artists on the boards of multi-national companies to add a new perspective?
How can the resources given by the government best serve ALL of Australia?
Should we have a “what can you can do” document for artists to be able to better find and access doors for arts advocacy?
Should we look to European examples of how artists are supported by the government?
Do we need a manifesto? A manifesto with a practical plan?
Should we lobby for a ministry of culture?

(An arbitrary break is created thanks to lunch and Brenna is left to eloquently synthesize all these questions, ideas and actions.)