Funding boost to dance schools

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A brighter future: NAISDA 2022 graduates Lacey Bilger, D’arcy Maguire, Brianna Kemmerling. Photo by Lisa Haymes.
A brighter future: NAISDA 2022 graduates Lacey Bilger, D’arcy Maguire, Brianna Kemmerling. Photo by Lisa Haymes.

The Australian Ballet School and NAISDA Dance College were among the eight arts training institutions to receive an increase in their funding in the 2024-5 federal budget.

The Australian Government has provided direct operational funding to national performing arts training organisations for more than 30 years.

They include the Australian Youth Orchestra, the Flying Fruit Fly Circus, the Australian National Academy of Music, the National Institute of Circus Arts and the Australian Film, Television and Radio School. Together these organisations comprise ARTS8: the Australian Roundtable for Arts Training Excellence.

The Budget allocation comprises:

  • $115.2 million to Australia’s eight national arts training organisations to ensure their continued operation in fostering the next generation of creative talent across screen, music, performing arts and dance.
  • $14.5 million to support the production of Australian children’s screen content – recognising the importance of Australian children seeing themselves reflected in the stories they watch, no matter which platform they watch it on.
  • $9.3 million to expand and enhance the National Film and Sound Archive’s capacity to store highly flammable nitrate-based cultural heritage material belonging to our national collecting institutions. These historically significant films and photographic negatives are currently at risk of being lost.
  • $8.6 million for the Revive Live program to provide essential support to live music venues and festivals showcasing Australian bands and artists – to ensure the long-term sustainability of the live music sector.
  • $5.2 million to expand and develop the Canberra and Darwin symphony orchestras.

The funding announcement follows a 2023 Sustainability Review of all Arts8 organisations commissioned independently by the Department of Infrastructure, Transport, Regional Development, Communications and the Arts.
NAISDA receives a $13m operational funding uplift over four years, which the organisation says "addresses a history of significant underfunding in the arts training sector". Chairperson and proud Wiradjuri woman Mayrah Sonter expressed gratitude for the funding.
"As the only First Nations member of the Arts8, the uplift strengthens NAISDA’s mission to provide equitable access to creative and cultural arts education, and support Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students across Australia to pursue careers in the national creative economy."

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