SUPPORT FOR HERITAGE AND ARTS
CULTURAL MINISTERS COUNCIL (CMC)
The CMC was established in 1984 to provide a forum for the exchange of views on issues affecting cultural activities in Australia and New Zealand. It comprises Australian Government, state and territory government ministers responsible for arts and cultural heritage, as well as the corresponding New Zealand government minister. The relevant minister from Papua New Guinea participates with observer status.
Governments are aware of the significance of the impact of cultural activities on general civic, social, political and economic development. One of the Council's many roles is to recognise and promote the linkages between the cultural aspects of our lives and the development of a robust Australian society. CMC's core activities include the commissioning of studies and investigations through the appointment of working or advisory groups and/or consultants. The CMC's Statistics Working Group plays an important role in this regard. This group liaises with the ABS on cultural statistics; monitors the need for the development, collection and dissemination of culture and leisure statistics; commissions studies; and provides advice to the CMC on statistical matters. Additional information about the CMC and its activities can be obtained from the web site, <http://www.dcita.gov.au/cmc>.
The Australia Council for the Arts is the Australian Government's arts funding and advisory body. It was formed as an interim council in 1973 and was given statutory authority by the Australia Council Act 1975 (Cwlth).
The Australia Council supports Australian artists and arts organisations through diverse funding options, in order to allow them to pursue artistic excellence, to create and present their work, to take advantage of opportunities to improve and develop their skills, and to tour and promote their work to wider audiences nationally and internationally. It supports young, emerging, developing and established artists through a range of grant programs. These programs cover: Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander arts; community and cultural development; dance; literature; major performing arts; music; new media arts; theatre; and visual arts and craft.
During 2003-04, 5,072 grant applications were made to the Australia Council, of which 1,879 were successful. These grants totalled $132.2m in 2003-04. Two-thirds of the grants, amounting to 94% of the funding, went to organisations or groups, and the remaining grants, with an average value of $12,769, were paid directly to individual artists. Further information about the Australia Council and its activities can be obtained from their web site, <http://www.ozco.gov.au>.
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