Frequently asked questions

What is A New Approach?

A New Approach is an independent think tank championing effective investment and return in Australian arts and culture.

A New Approach believes that when it comes to culture, we all contribute to — and benefit from — our shared cultural confidence.

Our ambition is to strengthen bipartisan, business and wider community support for arts and culture through an outcomes-focused research and advocacy program which increases the prospects of:

  • People who live in and visit all parts of Australia having opportunity to experience, enjoy and value everyday cultural experiences;
  • Our elected representatives and their advisors having access to relevant research and evidence to ensure public investment across Australia in arts and culture is effective, confident, responsible, fair and globally competitive;
  • Australia’s vibrant creators and researchers, cultural institutions and organisations operating in a public environment which recognises and invests in the benefits of cultural activity and celebrates creative achievements;
  • Private investors — including philanthropic, corporate and cultural entrepreneurs — having easier access to rigorous and contemporary information about the benefits of effective investment in arts and culture in Australia.

What do you mean by arts and culture?

We take a broad and inclusive view of arts and culture.

Our view includes — but is not limited to — galleries, libraries, archives and museums, music, screen, gaming, creative industries, performance, literature, visual art, community-engaged practice, hybrid and experimental forms, language, festivals, craft, heritage, design and live art.

Our culture is expressed through our cultural activities.

Cultural activities are the things we do to experience, enjoy, learn from and keep evolving our shared culture. It includes our own creative expression as well as experiencing the creative work of other people. There are a number of personal, social, economic, cultural and global benefits of investing in cultural activity that we want to understand better.

How was A New Approach established?

A New Approach was established in 2018, seeded by a $1.65M commitment by The Myer Foundation, the Tim Fairfax Family Foundation and the Keir Foundation.  The Australian Academy of the Humanities is the delivery partner for this initiative and A New Approach is based in its Canberra office.

The Council of the Australian Academy of the Humanities is the governing body for A New Approach. A Steering Committee for A New Approach has been established which provides input into the development of the program of work. The Steering Committee is chaired by the Academy’s President Professor Joy Damousi FASSA FAHA and includes representatives from the funding partners The Myer Foundation and Keir Family Foundation.

Arts and cultural sector leader, advocate, and strategist Kate Fielding is the inaugural Program Director.

What do you do?

Our research work will investigate, capture and share data and stories regarding:

  • The diverse benefits of arts and cultural activity.
  • Why and how public funding and private investment decisions are made.
  • Current and potential approaches to public and private investment in cultural activity and assets.
  • The consequences and costs of not investing in arts and culture.

The evidence-driven advocacy that emerges from this work will underpin our efforts to strengthen bipartisan, business and wider community support for arts and culture

Will you be consulting with the arts and culture sector?

Our focus is on increasing understanding of the value, importance and contributions of creativity and culture for all people in Australia and highlight opportunities to strengthen that. This includes, but is not limited to, the challenges experienced by the sector. To ensure our work is current and well-informed we engage with peak bodies, government agencies and sector representatives throughout the course of our work to understand these challenges and opportunities.

Are you going to look at what has worked overseas?

We will consider international examples, but it is important that we consider them in their context: what may work in some countries or regions may not work for Australia.

Does A New Approach commission research and other projects?

A New Approach’s active research and advocacy agenda may require us to commission additional research and projects. Calls for Expressions of Interest may be made if this is required.

Does A New Approach grant funds?

A New Approach is not a grant-making body.

Who do you represent?

We are an independent think tank, not a representative body.

How can I support A New Approach?

To be informed about A New Approach and different ways to become involved, please register via the Academy’s website to receive updates.

If you would like to discuss options for financial support of our work, please contact us via NewApproach@humanities.org.au

How can I stay updated about A New Approach?

If you would like to receive updates on key developments, please register via the Academy’s website.

Who is available for media interviews?

Please direct all media enquiries to NewApproach@humanities.org.au