Arts Minister Simon Crean today announced the creation of a new institution to better promote philanthropy, sponsorship and business support for the arts. Speaking at the Melbourne Recital Centre today about the importance of philanthropy in Australian cultural life, Mr Crean said the new body will merge the Australia Business Arts Foundation (AbaF) and Artsupport Australia program. “Harold Mitchell’s review of private sector support, and the review of the Australia Council, both recommended a single body be established to drive private giving,” Mr Crean said. “This recognises the importance of a partnership approach to investing in the arts. To meet the demand for investment, there must be a strong investment partnership between governments, the private sector and the community. “The new institution will build on the successes of AbaF and Artsupport and have a dedicated focus on attracting private sector support through philanthropy, sponsorship and business support. “It will join the dots between facilitating private giving and philanthropy, encouraging sponsorship and corporate giving, building partnerships between artists, business and private donors, and recognising the contribution of philanthropists and the business sector in supporting the arts. “Strong partnerships will play a vital role in delivering the objectives set in the National Cultural Policy.”
Mr Crean said Mr Mitchell’s review put forward a suite of recommendations that, if implemented, will establish the right conditions to broaden and strengthen the base of giving to the arts. “The challenge is then for the arts sector, philanthropists and business, to forge strong and longterm partnerships to take advantage of those conditions,” Mr Crean said. Mr Crean said the new body will commence on 1 July 2013. “I’ve asked the chairs of the Australia Council, Mr Rupert Myer AM, and AbaF, Mr Terry Campbell, to be members of a steering committee that will guide the establishment of the new institution over the next 11 months,” he said. “More details about the body will be released with the National Cultural Policy later this year.” Minister Crean also announced that Mr Terry Campbell AO will continue as Chair of AbaF until 30 June 2013. “I want to thank Mr Campbell for agreeing to another term and for his ongoing commitment to the work of the AbaF Board in promoting a more sustainable arts sector,” Mr Crean said. “Mr Campbell will play a vital role in preparing AbaF for amalgamation and play a role in shaping the direction of the new private support for the arts body.” “Mr Campbell’s experience with AbaF and his significant arts and business experience will be important through this time of transition. His reappointment will provide continuity in the AbaF Board’s operations pending finalisation of the Government’s response to the reviews.” In the 2012–13 Budget, the Australian Government allocated $3.2 million over two years to support the continuation of AbaF and its amalgamation with the Australia Council’s Artsupport program to create a new entity from 1 July 2013.