Artists say they’re feeling the impact of the cuts announced in today’s WA state budget, following Tuesday’s federal budget which also targeted arts funding.
Recent university graduate Hannah Altinier says she’s anxious for her future in the fashion industry.
She says the field is not getting the support it needs from the state or federal government.
West Australian Music marketing and communications officer Ellen Oosterbaan says budget cuts are something the Australian music industry is used to.
“We’ve always had a lot of difficulty in terms of federal funding and budget and for any kind of recognition for the art sector,” she says.
Ms Oosterbaan says WAM relies heavily on state government funding because on a federal level art is not deemed important enough.
“In Perth alone, we have a billion-dollar sector and there’s a continuing difficulty to try and get the federal government to acknowledge that,” she says.
After WAM received a $350 000 grant from the state government, Ms Oosterbaan says she is hopeful the state will show more support than the federal government.
“We really need an injection in funds and we’re lucky that the state government is hearing our calls.”
The federal government’s contentious higher eduction reform bill passed The Senate today, with fees set to double for arts degrees.
Dr Kath Dooley from Curtin University says this will only create a decline in people wanting to pursue a career in the arts.
“It’s discouraging people from studying in the arts and humanities by classing areas like screen as a non-essential career,” she says.
“Going forward an arts degree will cost about $50 000 which is just ridiculous.”
Dr Dooley says the arts are essential for society as a whole.
“The government should be giving more funding to the arts in general just because they’re such an important cultural aspect reflecting what’s going on in society.”