Artists would be given living wage under pilot program

Australian Greens

The Victorian Greens have launched their plan for a pilot program that would see practising Victorian artists paid a living wage over three years.

The program would support 2,000 artists by paying them $42,200 per year to enable them to have the freedom and stability to develop, create and present work.

It would cost $252 million dollars over three years and be open to artists, musicians, dancers, theatre makers, filmmakers and writers.

The program forms part of the Greens’ bold arts policy heading into the November state election.

It was developed with input from the Greens’ Richmond candidate Gabrielle de Vietri, who herself exhibited in major galleries and museums as an artist for 15 years.

The policy includes:

  • A Living Wage for Victorian Artists pilot program to give artists a stable foundation to develop, create and innovate.
  • A Sick Pay for the Arts scheme, to give artists and arts workers the same rights as other casual and contract workers.
  • A $1 billion dollar Secure Art Fund for small and medium arts organisations to provide the ongoing funding they need to support artists and deliver the arts projects and events we all love.
  • A funding package of $100 million per year for new festivals, with a focus on bringing arts events back into the inner city.

The arts play a key role in Victoria’s economy. They contribute seven per cent of our total economy and nine per cent of the Victorian workforce is employed in creative industries.

Beyond this, millions of visitors come to Victoria every year to attend our galleries and museums, festivals, theatres, music events and more.

Yet the arts and artists are chronically underfunded. Arts organisations struggle with funding uncertainties, and artists are leaving the sector in droves because it’s too hard to make ends meet.

The pandemic has also weighed heavily on artists struggling to make ends meet with little to no support from governments.

It’s time to treat the arts as a public good, matched by public funding.

As stated by Victorian Greens Richmond candidate, Gabrielle de Vietri:

“Art is fundamental to our society. It brings us joy, fun, deep thinking, connection with each other, and new ways of understanding the world and our place in it.

“Here in Victoria the arts contribute so much to our culture and our economy and yet so many artists are left struggling by a government unwilling to properly support them.

“The Greens want to see artists paid a living wage and given the same entitlements as other casual and contract workers. We also want to nurture our small to medium independent arts sector with adequate funding so that it can continue to thrive long into the future.

“It’s time to treat the arts as a public good, matched by public funding.”

As stated by Deputy Leader of the Victorian Greens, Ellen Sandell MP:

“Arts and culture is central to what makes Melbourne great, and we need to make sure the next Victorian Government invests in the arts properly.

“During COVID, the arts were decimated. We need to value the arts much more than governments currently do.

“With more Greens in Parliament we can push the next Government to make sure that all kinds of artists are supported to create the projects and events that make Melbourne iconic.”

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