Objective: ensure that the arts, cultural and creative sectors in South Australia thrive throughout the year

Recommendation and response

Accepted - In collaboration with key stakeholders, we will develop a festival schedule for South Australia.

Following our investigation of national and international models and discussions with key stakeholders, we are collaborating with the South Australian Tourism Commission to utilise their What’s On Calendar on southaustralia.com to increase the profile of arts and cultural events in South Australia.

The What’s On Calendar is accessible year round for sector usage for all activities, as well as having a significant online profile to support visibility and accessibility for users.

Eligible activity for inclusion has been extended to include virtual businesses and events, supporting the increased online activity by the sector with the impact of COVID-19.

Arts South Australia and the South Australian Tourism Commission provided the opportunity for training to key arts and culture organisations to optimise the utilisation of the calendar.

Accepted - Working with sector leads, we will identify existing needs and future options for an optimal use space activation plan for independent artists and small to medium sector organisations.

There are several initiatives being undertaken by government and the sector to remove barriers and optimise the use of existing venues and spaces in response to this recommendation and the impact of COVID-19 on sector activity.

These initiatives consider venue modifications to improve fit for purpose, reduction in venue costs to reduce financial barriers, venue activation and partnerships to support venue access and utilisation.

This work, plus our review of existing venue infrastructure and sector needs survey is informing the Space Activation Plan, as well as supporting further exploration of the need for additional theatre capacity for recommendation 1.5, the black box theatre.

Some key initiatives include:

  • government funding for venue modifications at the Queens Theatre, Adelaide to expand its flexible and adaptive use; Chaffey Theatre, Renmark to complete fire compliance works and installation of a passenger lift to provide greater accessibility; and the conversion of the old Varcoe Foundry building adjacent to Sir Robert Helpmann Theatre, Mount Gambier, into a year round artist hub and flexible performance space
  • the Adelaide Festival Centre Trust’s (AFCT) Open Space programto support independent artists, community groups and the small to medium sector to increase use of the Space Theatre and reduce costs, supported by funding from Arts South Australia. Further, the AFCT took a leadership role by waiving rental costs to all its venues, including Her Majesty’s Theatre, to South Australian home companies and the small to medium sector from 1 July 2020 – 31 December 2020. Full utilities and labour were still paid by the hirer to ensure recovery of hard costs and provide opportunities to employ AFCT’s casual workers, most of whom had only limited work since March 2020
  • Adelaide Fringe 2021 venue activation in response to COVID-19 supported by funding from the government’s Arts Recovery Fund. This includes grants for South Australian artists and producers for venue and delivery costs to provide a level of risk mitigation, as well as support for COVID-safe delivery for three major hubs: Gluttony, Garden of Unearthly Delights and the Royal Croquet Club.

Supported in-principle - We will engage with key sector stakeholders to investigate the need and options for a cost effective ticketing system for organisations not serviced by existing systems.

A review of sector needs and investigation into existing and potential ticketing system is underway, considering whether a cost effective consortium ticketing system or alternative model could be used by the small to medium sector to provide ticketing and customer relationship management tools. The investigation will determine the need for a system, as well as explore potential areas of operation, management and operating models.

Since this recommendation was made, Country Arts SA has invested in a new ticketing system and its experience will inform this work to support the small to medium sector.

Supported in-principle - We will consider undertaking a business case on the scope and viability of an acoustic venue.

A strategic scoping study is underway to deliver a clear picture of the need for new infrastructure, the benefits being targeted, critical outcomes and potential options. The study will document the landscape for music and music infrastructure in South Australia, look at national and international examples of relevant infrastructure and learnings, and establish a process for engaging with key stakeholders and interested parties.

Supported in-principle - We will consider undertaking a feasibility study for a black box theatre.

Before determining the need and requirements for a new space, work is underway to address some of the barriers faced by existing theatres, and venues under consideration as part of the space activation plan for recommendation 1.2.

The department has been successful in its grant application through the Government Owned Heritage Fund managed by the Department for Environment and Water. The funding will contribute to the building improvement projects planned for the Queens Theatre, including conservation/restoration of the façade and installation of supplementary portal frames. In consultation with relevant stakeholders, the Department of the Premier and Cabinet is considering a range of other projects that will contribute to the flexible and adaptive use of the theatre.

Supported in-principle - We will undertake further consultation with Country Arts SA and other regional stakeholders to develop a plan for regional arts centres as creative hubs.

Arts South Australia and Country Arts SA are collaborating to progress this recommendation.

Country Arts SA’s ongoing engagement with key stakeholders in each community and strategic planning for the revitalisation of the four regional arts centres is informing the outcomes of this work.