Arts policy on the agenda: here’s how, writes Marcus Westbury


CPD fellow – Marcus Westbury – sets out 7 easy steps for an election timed arts policy.

First published 2 August 2010 in The Age.

Suggestions for politicians in search of a cheap arts policy

THE perception at election time is that politicians can get ahead only by rolling out the pork barrel and spending up big. But while we’d all love more money for the arts, there are a lot of things that could make us all culturally richer for not much more than the cost of political will, taking the lead, changing some rules and tweaking a few settings.

So, in the spirit of trying to get some actual ideas into the vacuum that is this election campaign, I’ve knocked up a list of suggestions for pollies wanting to do – or be seen to be doing – something useful on the cheap.

1. An empty spaces program

The rising cost of property hits every creative person who has to pay for space. Yet, throughout the country, from big cities to marginal seats, many buildings sit empty.

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