Craft Australia Update and Action you can take to help – please read.

MEDIA RELEASE

Craft Australia Defunded by the Australia Council

The Visual Arts Board of the Australia Council announced in October that it would defund Craft Australia, the national peak organisation for the craft and design sector. Without its financial support Craft Australia will be forced to close by December 2011 and its significant 40 year legacy will be lost. The network of Australian Craft and Design Centres, (ACDC), support Craft Australia in seeking to revoke the Visual Arts Board, (VAB) decision. Craft Australia believes the decision by the VAB is unjustified and was made without proper consultation either with Craft Australia or the craft and design sector. The decision has not followed due process or due governance and is in breach of its own documented guidelines. Craft Australia is challenging this decision and is also seeking immediate interim funding from the Australia Council. Robert Reason the President of Craft Australia said: “The interim funding would allow Craft Australia to restructure in a responsible manner and manage its significant heritage assets and active programs appropriately. It would also send a clear message to the craft and design sector that the Australia Council and through it the Australian Government remains committed to the preservation of our cultural heritage”. He also said, “Craft Australia delivers a dynamic and diverse program that promotes and supports Australian craft and design practice nationally and internationally.” Craft Australia’s website, www.craftaustralia.org.au, has over 1 million unique page visitors annually and provides access to events, exhibitions, and commissioned articles on craft and design. The organisation also engages with readers so they can actively respond to issues through Craft Australia’s social media sites on twitter, facebook and the CA blog, www.craftaustralia.blogspot.com Some of Craft Australia’s recent achievements in support of the sector include the newly established craft + design enquiry online journal, an international forum for practice based research; the Selling Yarns conferences for contemporary Indigenous craft and design practices and attracting funding to digitise its unique collection of images. Significantly, Craft Australia ensures that the craft and design sector has a voice on national decision making organisations such the Australian Design Alliance (AdA), ArtsPeak, the National Visual Arts Craft Network (NVACN) and the Council for Humanities Arts and Social Sciences, (CHASS). Without a national organisation there can be no concerted advocacy position for the Australian craft and design sector. This could leave the sector vulnerable to further erosion of funding. For more information about the decision to defund Craft Australia, contact Robert Reason, President of Craft Australia on 02 6273 0088. Please sign the PETITION For more details on the Save Craft Australia action please see the Craft Australia blog

For more information please contact:
Catrina Vignando, General Manager -catrina.vignando [at] craftaustralia.org.au.au – (02) 6273 0088
Craft Australia
National Press Club, Level 1, Suite 7, 16 National Circuit, Barton ACT 2600
Phone: (02) 6273 0088 Fax: (02) 6273 6088