Background: Consideration of the development of the Arts for all Queenslanders strategy commenced in 2012 with Arts Queensland’s analysis of evaluation, research and progress reports of previous arts and cultural plans and strategies including: the Arts and Cultural Sector Plan (2010–2013), the Regional Arts and Culture Strategy (2010–2014), the Children, Young People and the Arts Action Plan (2008–2011), the Touring Strategy (2009– 2014) and Arts Queensland funding programs. This analysis was conducted so that the Arts for all Queenslanders strategy could be informed by the strategic learning of both government and the arts and cultural sector in light of the growing interest in evaluating the public value of arts and culture.
Key themes emerging from Arts Queensland’s evaluation of past and current plans were coupled with consideration of the Minister’s Charter Letter tasks including:
• develop and implement a strategy for the growth of the arts sector in Queensland, including a commercially oriented approach to artistic events and performances
and facilities, to have a wide impact for
• foster a community of arts across Queensland
involving artists and performers, for profit and not-for-profit organisations, community organisations and teaching institutions, to contribute to the growth of the arts sector.
Together these informed the development of a ‘discussion starter’ for the strategy consultation built on the following assumptions:
• Funding and investment can be simplified and
transparency increased to enable the arts and cultural sector to better respond to demand for its services with a more enterprising approach.
• Proactive promotion of Queensland arts and
culture is vital to growing arts communities and arts consumption. Queenslanders are strong arts supporters providing good ground for fostering a community of the arts. Sport has succeeded in fostering participation and engagement from amateur to elite levels with business and community partnerships across the spectrum. It is time for the arts to open up.
• Changing business models are developing new commercial approaches, and there is a need to support the professional development of the arts and cultural sector to move practice into the post-digital age and take up opportunities offered by the digital economy.
• Cultural tourism offers new thinking for infrastructure and engagement. The public’s desire to actively participate in arts and culture is strong and the arts offer could build on this — investing in localised infrastructure and inviting the public, whether locals
or visitors, to participate in unique arts experiences is important.
These were built into a discussion starter which provided an overview of possible strategy action areas and positioned the Charter Letter tasks as drivers and outcomes of the Arts for all Queenslanders strategy.
The discussion starter overview named five possible action areas which included:
• reform the arts investment model
• develop the entrepreneurial and enterprising
capacity of the arts sector
• grow great cultural events and experiences
• build arts partnerships with other sectors
• promote and celebrate artists and their work.