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16 October 2020

Arts and culture think tank, A New Approach, enters a new phase

After three successful years of producing thought-provoking, evidence-based reports on the status and importance of Australia’s arts and culture, arts and culture think tank, A New Approach (ANA), will move from its initial home with the Australian Academy of the Humanities to become an entity in its own right.

The Academy was selected as the lead delivery partner for A New Approach when the program was established in 2018 with generous funding from three leading philanthropic organisations – The Myer Foundation, the Tim Fairfax Family Foundation and the Keir Foundation. ANA was created to champion more effective investment in Australia’s arts and culture.

‘In creating this new program we felt it was important, as its name implies, to have a fresh look at Australia’s arts and cultural sector, with a totally independent approach that wasn’t influenced by politics or particular interests,’ said arts and cultural supporter and President-elect of The Myer Foundation, Rupert Myer AO.

‘Over the past three years, ANA has produced a series of quality reports which are already playing an important part in shaping the national conversation.’

The ANA funding group has paid tribute to the Australian Academy of the Humanities which has provided the governance, research expertise and operational support base for the fledgling program in its first three years.

‘The significant research work led by the Academy has been able to capture the incredibly diverse benefits to Australia of our arts and cultural activity, why and how public and private investment decisions are made, and the consequences of under-investment in our cultural space,’ Mr Myer added.

President of the Academy, Professor Joy Damousi FASSA FAHA, congratulated ANA on the breadth and influence of its work to date and the news of its continuation.

‘We take enormous pride in having incubated what has very quickly become a highly-respected and prominent new voice in Australia’s cultural landscape,’ Professor Damousi said.

‘The Academy and the funders should rightly be proud of what has been achieved to date. This has been a genuinely collaborative endeavour with each contributor bringing their best to the table,’ she said.

‘The success of the program is due to the important contribution of many people who provided advice and direction to support the initiative’, said Professor Damousi. ‘My heartfelt thanks go to members of the ANA Reference Group and the ANA Steering Committee.’

‘I particularly acknowledge the generosity of our Research Working Group, led by Professor Malcolm Gillies AM FAHA, and their significant contribution of both time and intellect to provide the evidence base that underpins ANA’s work.’

The partners in the initiative agreed that the tremendous success of the program provided ‘proof of concept’ – and now was the right time for ANA to forge its own path.

‘We strongly support ANA’s ambition to strengthen bipartisan, business and wider community support for arts and culture,’ said Professor Damousi. ‘We wish Kate Fielding and her team all the very best for the next phase of development and look forward to an ongoing relationship with ANA.’

The current phase of ANA concludes in December 2020, and further details about the new arrangements will be available over the coming months.


Enquiries: Jeremy Lasek 0417 652 771

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