West Melbourne artists call for more federal government support

By Molly Magennis

A group of independent artists and creative organizations in West Melbourne have come together to urge local candidates to prioritize the arts sector ahead of the upcoming federal election.

Arts West is a collaborative group of organizations such as Footscray Community Arts, The Substation and 100 Story Building, who together deliver arts and cultural activities throughout West Melbourne.

The group is concerned that the federal government is not doing enough to support art in the West and has sent an open letter to local election candidates asking them to commit to investing in creative infrastructure, establishing a national plan for the arts and to protect and increase current federal funding for the arts.

As stated on its website, Arts West said a national plan should “reconcile with the plans of state and territory governments and be developed with the leadership of the Australian Arts Council and in consultation with the arts and cultural industries. at large”.

Freelance artist Matto Lucas said COVID had further damaged a sector that was already struggling.

“Support for artists pre-COVID was already sorely lacking, and during the pandemic artists have been left behind without any support,” he said.

“Melbourne’s extended closures have shown us that creativity, art, community and a better life are within our reach, and that is our choice with this election.”

Arts West is asking voters in the West to add their names to this open letter, which can be viewed on their website, www.artswest.com.au/support-the-arts.

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