New arts survey looks beyond artists

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THE Minister’s Creative Council has set up a short survey to assess the experiences in the ACT’s arts communities during COVID-19 crisis.

Arts Minister Gordon Ramsay

The idea is to canvas ideas about practical action for local artists and organisations now and into the future as they emerge into recovery, but it’s not just for the artists themselves.

The council is an advisory body set up by the Minister for the Arts, Creative Industries and Community Events, Gordon Ramsay to explore and test ideas and to provide advice on matters referred to them by the minister.

It is comprised of journalist Genevieve Jacobs as chair, arts administrators Jack Lloyd and Adelaide Rief, design advocate Ben Fox, poet Andrew Galan, gallery co-ordinator Megan Hinton, dance artist Liz Lea theatre artist Tamzin Nugent, musician Michael Sollis and songwriter Sia Ahmad.

Jacobs told “CityNews” that the survey would be open to all Canberrans interested in the arts who had been affected by COVID-19 in any way.

“It is all embracing,” she said, “it’s about providing advice and feedback that will go towards discovering what help people need.”

She agreed that arts workers would be obvious targets for the survey, but noted that “If you sing in a choir or if you learn an instrument, you’ll also be affected by COVID-19.”

In her view the arts are not something that you can just turn on and off like opening and shutting a door.

“It will take time and many arts workers that organisations are working on a funding base while others have been completely disrupted indefinitely… What we want to find out is how creative community has been impacted and what would work best over a longer time period.”

She said the council believed the ACT government’s $500,000 “Homefront” response had been “pretty good so far, but we don’t know how long the consequences of the virus might run.”

The survey, she believed, would be a chance to have a straightforward community indication to the arts minister.

“The main message we want to get across to the community is, “this is not limited to arts practitioners, and you are part of the arts community too.”

The survey is open until Wednesday, June 3 at





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Helen Musa
“CityNews” arts editor

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