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Discussion paper
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Performing arts advocacy in Australia 6.51 MB

This paper outlines long-term trends in performing arts attendance and finances, as well as providing original analysis of the impact of COVID-19. It shows how advocacy for the performing arts has been less sophisticated than for many other industries, while describing a number of case studies in which advocacy for the performing arts has been particularly successful.

The paper suggests how advocacy for the performing arts could be improved. It  encourages a closer alignment between public, commercial and community performing arts sectors.  It recommends a step change in the advocacy ground game for the performing arts, considering which arguments are most likely to be persuasive, which 'asks' are most likely to be met, how advocacy should be organised through a unified body, how messengers should be selected, and how advocacy should be conducted across all political parties, all levels of government, and talking to both ministers and back-benchers.

The paper outlines the implications of this advocacy approach for arts and culture policy. It argues that the first ask should be for Australian governments to shift their official public symbols of Australian identity so that they match more closely the actual lives of Australians in which arts and culture play a role at least as big as sport.

The discussion paper was commissioned by the Australian Major Performing Arts Group as its last substantial contribution to arts and culture in Australia before it disbanded.

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