Greens Unveil New Fund To Help Pull Aus Artists ‘Out Of Poverty’

29 April 2019 | 6:30 pm | Staff Writer

“Artists are too often living below the poverty line.”

The Greens have detailed a new artist fund ahead of the upcoming federal election, promising serious and ongoing support for struggling creatives.

The Living Arts Fund would ensure Australian musicians, actors and other creatives are supported with a liveable wage, with the Greens noting “the average Australian artist lives below the poverty line, working multiple jobs and sometimes taking unemployment payments in order to keep the lights on”.

The opt-in fund will “guarantee participating artists an income subsidy equal to the difference between their other income and a living wage”, in exchange for a small share of every creative work produced by the participating artist.

“Art is at the core of our communities, yet artists are too often living below the poverty line. Australians value the arts, it is time to value all our creative talent – from actors, to musicians, authors and artists,” Greens arts spokesperson Senator Sarah Hanson-Young said. 

“Artists and aspiring artists should not have to struggle for the contribution they make to our society. The Greens’ plan addresses this by making sure they are paid a fair wage. 

“Our Living Arts Fund ensures participating artists are guaranteed an income to bring them up to a living wage. The Fund would own a share in their work, which will make the fund more self-sustaining, with artists supporting artists.

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“Art is everywhere. On our TVs, our big screens, books, magazines and galleries, but also in our community halls, our air waves and in our homes. It is too valuable to be a part-time contribution. Under the Greens’ plan, 54,800 artists across Australia stand to be supported to create art in all sorts of forms.

“This Fund is part of the Greens Creative Australia policy, which supports the growth of our creative economy and acknowledges the important role artists of all stripes play in shaping Australia.”

The Greens also state the fund has the potential to “bring 54,800 artists out of poverty, and reinvest back into our artistic sector to create an additional average of 1,830 full-time jobs a year in creative industries around the country”.

Musicians, actors, dancers, photographers, visual artists, artistic directors, media producers and presenters, authors, and book and script editors, film, television, radio and stage directors can submit their work for assessment by an expert panel of artistic peers.