Arts Flashback

To celebrate Arts Victoria's 40th anniversary we've hit the archives
and uncovered some choice moments in the development of
Victoria's arts sector.

Click on the images below to view the stories and photo galleries, share them with others, and find out how Victoria grew to be the arts and cultural powerhouse it is today.

Victorian Ministry for the Arts Annual Report (cover) 1979/80
Victorian Ministry for the Arts Annual Report (cover) 1979/80


Funding process formalised

In 1979, under Arts Minister Norman Lacy, funding guidelines, formal processes and set closing dates were introduced for the provision of grants from the Ministry. This sought to provide a more rational approach to the assessment of funding requests; greater accountability for the public funds allocated to the arts; and a more efficient management of the Cultural Development Fund.


This shift, in part, was a sign of the economic times; financial difficulties had recently beset some of the cultural organisations of the decade, such as Ballet Victoria, which folded in 1977.

In the words of the then Chairman of the Victorian Council for the Arts, Dr Donald W Hossack: "In difficult economic times, it would be unreasonable for companies to expect continued public funding if they fail to comply with the conditions of grants, or if the quality of performance becomes unacceptable. It is not generally recognised that government funding can be a two-edged sword, and it is extremely distressing to see companies which survived unaided for years going into liquidation because of over-ambitious expansion on receipt of unearned monetary support."

A sobering thought as we head into the 1980s.

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