Arts spending cuts give cause for concern
Curbing creativity ... Canberra Glassworks creative director Clare Belfrage. Photo: Rohan Thomson
Glass blower Clare Belfrage says an overall cut in spending on the arts and cultural heritage in the federal budget is extremely worrying and perplexing.
The creative director of the Canberra Glassworks says there is little space for creativity with Treasurer Wayne Swan's budget focused on discipline and restraint.
The budget papers show funding for arts and cultural heritage will be slashed by 6.6 per cent to $1.077 billion in 2012-13, and fall by 5.9 per cent to $1.017 billion in 2013-14. Spending will then rise by a meagre 1.1 per cent to $1.028 billion in 2014-15 before dipping to $1.025 billion in 2015-16.
The budget projection for arts in 2015-16 is more than 5 per cent below actual spending in 2010-11.
"With that bit of news about the slashing of overall spending, it is kind of perplexing that the arts aren't seemed to be valued for this country," Ms Belfrage says.
"The arts aren't for artists, the arts are for the country, of course, and I believe that very strongly."
Apart from the Canberra Glassworks, Ms Belfrage displays her work in the Sabbia Gallery in Sydney, the Jam Factory in Adelaide, New Zealand and Hong Kong, and she has two galleries in the United States.
Before the budget, the fact that the national cultural policy was postponed was a "signpost" for bad news ahead for spending on the country's arts and cultural heritage, Ms Belfrage said.