The results of the Australia Council’s Four Year Funding for Organisations program for 2021-2024 were announced today. We are deeply disappointed to share that Polyglot was not successful in securing this vital investment. Polyglot is one of 49 currently funded organisations who have not received ongoing funding today. This outcome highlights the enormous gap between the innovation and creative excellence that the Australian small-medium arts sector generates and the reality of inadequate government investment. It also means that there will be no federally funded companies producing theatre for children in Victoria. While we congratulate the companies that received funding, we are heartbroken for all the others that received bad news today, and stand in solidarity with our peers across the sector.
Polyglot proudly occupies a place of leadership in Australia’s Theatre for Young Audiences sector and the company is currently in an extremely strong artistic and economic position. We employ an office team of 10 people plus over 100 artists and production staff each year, and our work is in high demand from presenters and audiences around the world. Operational funding from the federal and state government typically accounts for 30% of Polyglot’s total income, providing a base of stability from which we generate our own income from performances and projects, philanthropy and other funding sources. We retain operational funding from the Australia Council through to the end of 2021, which gives us time to plan and adjust to today’s news.
Australia’s cultural and creative sector contributes over $111 billion a year to Australia’s economy (6.4% of GDP) and employs over half a million people. During the time of this unprecedented COVID-19 crisis, we see people turning to music, books and creativity for comfort, inspiration and distraction, and yet the artists and art organisations who create this work are suffering immediate and devastating impact. We join forces with our industry associations, fellow art organisations, peak bodies and artists to call on the government for an immediate $850 million stimulus package for the live performance industry, and for an injection of $180 million to the Australia Council for investment into the small-medium and independent sectors.
Sarah Hunt – Chair
Sue Giles AM and Viv Rosman – co-CEOs