In a shock move, and after 70 years of operations, Tasmanian Regional Arts is closing its doors due to lack of secure funding, which will send shock waves through the cultural community and out into the regions of Tasmania.
‘I’m absolutely shocked and concerned about what this means for the arts community across Lyons.’ Brian says.
‘TRA is well known for their auspicing of over 1300 artists, running arts based programs, touching the lives of hundreds and thousands of Tasmanians, managing the federal Regional Arts Grants program, getting cultural development programs out of the city and into the suburbs and regions and being the mentor for upcoming artists to explore and grow in their fields. That’s a big gap in the market, and it’s not clear what the outcome will be in the short and long term.’
‘Arts funding has been gutted by the Federal and State LNP governments. The arts funding scene has become increasingly competitive with artists pressured to produce more with less. This downwards pressure is seeing the culture being taken out of cultural development.’
‘This disdain towards the arts community is misplaced. This industry plays a strong part in a vibrant economy and Tassie households spend $40 a week on entertainment, newspapers and books. 84% of us have engaged in a cultural activity in the last year. We’ve walked through the botanical gardens, gone to the theatre, seen a movie, taken the kids to the library, visited a museum, danced at a concert, enjoyed live music or gone to the local market and bought something hand made. ‘
‘Regional Tasmania can’t afford these hits. Funding getting cut, then cut again, then cut again is just a tragedy for our community. ‘
** A few years back 97 000 of us were employed in the cultural field. That’s a huge whack of people. Given Lyons is struggling with youth unemployment, this hit will cut our young people off at the knees as 25% need this industry to give them jobs, and train them up for a strong working future.