Let's Get Creative

Join our campaign to win respect for the arts and creative industries.

Join our campaign to win respect for the arts and creative industries.

A new vision of leadership is needed to drive the arts forward in the 21st century.The Media, Entertainment & Arts Alliance (MEAA), the union for workers in the performing and creative arts, is calling for a new and comprehensive cultural agenda, effectively and sustainably funded.

Australia needs a comprehensive
Arts & Cultural Agenda

In 2022, Australia still lacks a comprehensive national framework for arts and culture.Falling investments, changeable policy arrangements and the shallow politicisation of our creative culture is letting us down. This has fuelled marginalisation and division across the sector, leaving many workers and communities on the peripheries of our society.The ever-increasing demands of modern life have also constructed real and imagined barriers around arts and culture that have significantly reduced participation.Without a community consensus on arts and culture as a public good, these trends will continue into the future.

Arts, creativity and culture are central to our lives. We mark our place in the world through arts and creativity; through the entertainment, we make, enjoy and share. Our lives are simply greyed out and joyless without structured creative practice.The arts and entertainment economy has been built by the creativity, technical skill and innovation of our artists and audiences: of our communities.The stories that make the most sense to us are those we generate about ourselves, not the ones simply sold to us by global production companies.The COVID-19 pandemic has left many musicians, actors, journalists, events crew and performers devastated by the economic collapse of the arts and entertainment sector. But our need for arts, creativity and culture has never been stronger than it is now.Australians need a new and comprehensive arts and cultural agenda, effectively and sustainably funded, to help us deliver on our responsibilities to each other. And we need to harness and organise community leadership to shape and deliver it.


“Artistic and cultural activity is a way of expressing yourself… It’s educational. Just because you can’t do one form of art doesn’t mean you can’t do another. It doesn’t have to be drawing, dancing, playing music or painting. It can be anything. It can be conservation - we teach children to recycle all their milk bottle tops and make something out of it. That’s art.
There are a lot of other ways that art benefits society, and it also enables diversity. It doesn’t create diversity, it enables diversity. It allows us to acknowledge and accept that we are different, but we are also the same.”
— Claire, Indigenous Student Counsellor, Central QLD University

A Crisis in Participation

Despite more than 75% of Australians agreeing that arts and creativity is vital to our culture and national reputation, many feel that the arts are too expensive and too inaccessible.In Australia, when we pay for arts and culture, we don't just pay for the ticket into the musical, but for the train into the city, the cost of eating out, and for the time spent in this entire process.When we pay for our children’s music lessons, we don’t just pay for the lesson itself, but for the car which enables us to travel there, the petrol, the instruments, the music books, the exams, and the time we spend waiting in the car for the lesson to finish.There is no current framework in place which addresses the barriers that discourage people from participating in arts and culture.

“I am a low-income earner, on a pension, and I have a hard time accessing anything. There is lots of stuff I’d like to go and see but I just can’t afford it. I love musical theatre, that's been the area I have worked most in, but I can’t access it at all at the moment. If you are in the lower end of the income stream, you’ve just got no chance.”—Ian, Dancer & Choreographer, WA


“I have five kids… One wanted to dance but it was just too expensive, and we had to travel too far. With music, the kids did it at school but that’s as far as it would go. When you don’t have facilities in the region that you live in and there’s only one place to go, it gets booked out quickly.”Claire, Indigenous Student Counsellor, Central QLD University


Our Vision:
Building a comprehensive Arts & Cultural Agenda

We envision a society which encourages participation and access to arts and culture in everyday life: a society where our transport systems, healthcare, education, childcare, housing, utilities and public infrastructure all facilitate access to, and participation in, arts and creativity within our communities. This is a society where arts and culture is a practice of everyday life.

Any meaningful agenda must recognise:
- The intrinsic value of arts and culture
- That there is demand and need for creative practice
- Barriers to access and availability
- That arts and culture is a public good
Most importantly, a renewed agenda for arts and culture must acknowledge the vital contribution that communities make to arts and culture within Australia. It must be led and shaped by our communities; by the people who have supported and sustained creative life in Australia for decades.

What's the plan and what are we going to achieve?

We don't want another political program, no matter how well intentioned.We don't want a lobby.We don't want a policy which drives division and marginalisation.We want to create a popular movement which highlights the voices and stories of our communities. These voices will support and drive the creation of a new arts and cultural agenda in Australia.We want an agenda which highlights our collective values and what unites us.

Who is MEAA?

As the union for creative workers, MEAA is a thought leader and driver of change with a long and proud history of strong and passionate advocacy to improve the working lives of creative professionals and the industries in which they work.Our members include people working in TV, radio, theatre & film, entertainment venues, recreation grounds, journalists, actors, dancers, sportspeople, cartoonists, photographers, musicians, orchestral and opera performers as well as people working in public relations, advertising, book publishing and website production; in fact, everyone who works in the industries that inform or entertain.

Our campaigns have included protection of public broadcasting, press freedom, reform of screen industry policy, and improved funding for the arts.During the COVID crisis, the failure of Federal Government to provide a sector-wide solution simply accelerated the need for an overhaul of the way the arts and culture are viewed in Australia. Put simply, the neglect of federal political leadership has placed in jeopardy the entire arts and cultural sector.MEAA’s Let’s Get Creative campaign is our firm commitment to reforming Australia’s arts and cultural agenda, in the interests of our children, families and all practitioners of arts and entertainment.

Discussion Forum

Topics

  • Topic 1: Why do you choose to go out and participate in arts and culture in your local community?

  • Topic 2: As an active citizen who participates in civil society and culture, why is journalism important to you?

  • Topic 3 (Current Topic): Do you feel you have a say in what cultural assets, facilities and institutions are available in your local community? Why or why not?

  • More discussion topics coming soon! Join the campaign to stay informed.

Join the discussion below 👇

Discussion Forum

Topic

  • Topic 1: Why do you choose to go out and participate in arts and culture in your local community?

  • Topic 2 (Selected): As an active citizen who participates in civil society and culture, why is journalism important to you?

  • Topic 3: Do you feel you have a say in what cultural assets, facilities and institutions are available in your local community? Why or why not?

  • More discussion topics coming soon! Join the campaign to stay informed.

Click the latest topic to participate in the discussion.

Discussion Forum

Topic

  • Topic 1 (Selected): Why do you choose to go out and participate in arts and culture in your local community?

  • Topic 2: As an active citizen who participates in civil society and culture, why is journalism important to you?

  • Topic 3: Do you feel you have a say in what cultural assets, facilities and institutions are available in your local community? Why or why not?

  • More discussion topics coming soon! Join the campaign to stay informed.

Click the latest topic to participate in the discussion.

We'll keep you in the loop.

Thank you for supporting our campaign to win respect for the arts and creative industries. We'll keep you up-to-date and informed on the latest developments to our campaign.