This year, the murder of Charlie Hebdo cartoonists and employees resulted in an immediate commitment from the French government to increase funding for art and culture in recognition that more freedom of diverse expression is fundamental to a harmonious and confident society.

The arts and other creative industries are relied upon to balance powerful vested interest with the interests of all members of society. To bring perspective.

Yet, in almost every country and region globally, governments are reducing funding for the arts via budget cuts.

Let us examine the arts funding facts and the challenges facing the Australian arts organisation today.

Challenges

According to the latest ‘Arts Nation‘ report of the Australia Council for the Arts, Australian Government funding increased from $6.4b to $7.1b between 2008 and 2013.

cultural funding by layer of government p 38 Arts Nation Aus Council

However, if inflation is taken into account Australian Government funding of the arts remained stagnant:

chart4

 Corporate sponsorship too has remained fairly stagnant, while private giving has increased (non-indexed).

Corporate sponsorship p 39 Arts Nation

 With government and corporate funding of the arts in Australia remaining stagnant, what then can the arts organisation do to compete, grow, and ensure its long term sustainability?

Opportunities

With every challenge comes an opportunity. In this article we present two opportunities available to arts organisations in today’s landscape to create alternative and consistent revenue streams.

Commercial Partnerships

In today’s competitive world, brands struggle to differentiate. Businesses must innovate in order to ensure their long term sustainability.

The arts bring colour to the commercial world. Almost all authentic thinking comes from the arts. At the core of every arts organisation lies authentic and inspiring people.

It has the ability to create brands that have absolute differentiation and emotional connection with customers. The essence of a brand, for example, ‘Ground breaking’, ‘unmatched’, ‘elegant’ can be expressed eloquently through the leap of a dancer, creating believable and unforgettable brand experiences. Sony has already begun to test the limits in its advertising. To the artist, the imagination is limitless.

The arts can expose problems, and inspire solutions. A current art partnership of interest is between the City of Melbourne and Melbourne artists Debbie Symons and Jasmine Targett, which visualises and examines the way that we use water in Melbourne.

Read more on arts partnerships here.

Social media

For time immemorial, the revenue of the arts organisation has seasonal, limited to the number of shows and limited to the number of seats in the theatre. Today, the growth of the digital world is opening up new opportunities in the arts, and the possibility for consistent, global revenue streams. Read more here.

The pool of available funds to the arts organisation may be increasingly scarce, but the commercial and digital worlds are simultaneously creating new avenues for the arts industry to grow.

Talk to us about solutions for your arts organisation. We can help.

Image credit: Jean-Pierre Dalbera via Flickr Commons