POLYGLOT THEATRE FUNDING UPDATE

Polyglot Theatre has been successful in securing core funding from the Australia Council and will receive $300,000 annually from 2017 – 2020.

It was also announced last week that Polyglot is a recipient of Catalyst funding, receiving $570,000 over three years to deliver a significant new project – First on the Ladder. This art-meets-sport project will be created in collaboration with Beyond Empathy, Rumbalara Football and Netball Club in Shepparton and the Moree Boomerangs Rugby League Club.

“Polyglot is very fortunate to have been successful in the Australia Council’s highly competitive four-year funding round. Secure core funding gives us the foundation from which to deliver our busy program of creating and touring new participatory theatre for children in Australia and around the world, as well as delivering our innovative school and community projects. In 2015, Polyglot reached over 87,700 people in 13 countries and offered 269 employment opportunities for independent artists. While government core funding comprises just 24% of our total income, these funds are critical to our ability to leverage funds from other sources and our ongoing stability. We have ambitious plans for the next four years and are grateful to have secured the core support to deliver these.

However, we are deeply concerned for the long-term viability and diversity of the Australian arts sector. Many peer companies have lost their core funding through this process as a result of the Government’s cuts to the Australia Council in 2015, and many will be forced to close. This is an enormous blow to the arts ecology which will have far-reaching and long-term effects.” Sue Giles, Artistic Director and Viv Rosman, Executive Producer – Polyglot Theatre co-CEOs.

In 2015, the Coalition removed $72.8 million funding from the Australia Council over four years. These funds have been diverted to the Ministry for the Arts’ Catalyst Arts and Culture Fund. Concerns have been raised in regards to the funding allocation process of Catalyst, which last week announced $24 million of project support – almost half of its total funds pool for four years –without clarity on the future plans or strategy to manage the distribution of remaining funds.

The Australia Council’s funding cuts to organisations will cause significant job losses and depletion of what has been an innovative, diverse and robust national arts and cultural industry. Polyglot Theatre joins its peers to call on all political parties to reinstate the $72.8 million funding to the Australia Council, as this is critical to the sustained growth and continued contribution that small to medium arts organisations make to Australian culture.

Polyglot’s Annual Report for 2015 is available to download here.

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