Objective: consider what more we can do to meet the needs of regional and rural South Australia, local cultural activity in regional towns and centres, career pathways for artists from the regions, and access to regional touring opportunities for large and small companies.

Recommendation and response

Supported in principle – We support the valued work of Country Arts SA. In collaboration with Country Arts SA and key stakeholders, we will investigate governance and funding structures to support arts and cultural activity across the state.

Arts South Australia acknowledges and supports the valued work of Country Arts SA to produce, present and facilitate arts and cultural programs in regional South Australia. This recommendation is being addressed in two parts:

  1. The Statutory Authority Governance Structures Review Report (PDF, 1.2 MB), delivered in November 2020 in response to recommendation 6.3, which recommended that Country Arts SA be retained as a Statutory Authority. Government endorsed this recommendation in June 2021.
  2. The state budget review process and release of Country Arts SA’s new Strategic Plan.

Country Arts SA’s operational funding is allocated through the State Budget process and the organisation released its 2021–2025 Strategic Plan in February 2021.

Government’s formal response to this recommendation is now complete.

Future reviews of funding levels will continue through the State Budget process to enable Country Arts SA to deliver on commitments in its Strategic Plan.

Supported in principle – We will work with Country Arts SA and key stakeholders to review opportunities for revitalisation of regional arts centres as creative community hubs.

Country Arts SA is finalising Master Plans for four regional arts centres. Their strategic planning for the revitalisation of the regional arts centres, as well as ongoing engagement with key stakeholders in each community continues to inform this work. Arts South Australia is working with Country Arts SA to progress this recommendation.

The government’s commitment to regional arts infrastructure is ongoing. In 2020–2021, the government invested $2.294m through Country Arts SA for fire safety upgrades and lift installation at the Chaffey Theatre in Renmark, as well as major renovations for the historic Varcoe Foundry building in Mount Gambier, transforming it into a creative hub for artists.

Supported in principle – In collaboration with Country Arts SA, local government and key stakeholders, we will review governance options to ensure they are aligned with community needs.

We support the valued work undertaken by Country Arts SA in working with local government and regional communities to support regional arts and culture.

Arts South Australia and Country Arts SA are collaborating to progress this recommendation. Consideration of the Statutory Authority Governance Structures Review Report November 2020 produced in response to recommendation 6.3, as well as our ongoing discussions with Country Arts SA are informing consideration of the appropriate asset ownership and governance mechanisms to support effective delivery of arts and culture priorities in the regions.