February Update #1
|Image: Andrew Welch 1988, Three Rings, Makers Mark Rings Award|
As many of you will now be aware, Craft Australia has been defunded by the Visual Arts Board (VAB) of the Australia Council for the Arts. This decision was an outcome of a minor review of the key organisations supported by the VAB. The reason given for defunding Craft Australia is that it was too reliant on Government support and was not meeting the needs of the sector, both of which Craft Australia has challenged.
With your support Craft Australia has had an extension of funding till the end of April 2012 as opposed to having to close the doors of the organisation by the end of December 2011. This extension will ensure that the programs that have been established by Craft Australia and the historical and visual archives of the Australian studio craft movement that we have collected over the past 40 years are not lost to the sector. Our aim is to pass on this material to cultural institutions that will become the new custodians of this history. This will ensure that the cultural legacy of the Australian craft and design sector from the late 1960s to the present day is not lost.
Craft Australia is officially operating in winding-up mode. As a result of this we will not be sending out any more CA enews. The last issue of CA enews was published in December 2011 and it contains all the details about the closure of the organisation.
Craft Australia will however continue to keep you informed about our progress with regular online updates. We will send these to you in the same way you received the ca enews. The updates will let you know what we are up to and how we are progressing with passing on Craft Australia’s holdings.
As part of the winding up process, Craft Australia is ensuring that as many of its activities and programs remain accessible for future use by passing them over to new host organisations. Some of the programs we are in the process of future proofing include the historical archives of the organisation. These have been deemed to be of national historical significance and was the basis for Craft Australia receiving a Community Heritage Grant from the National Library of Australia to preserve these records.
Other assets we are passing on are the online programs and activities developed by Craft Australia over the past 8 years. These include the Craft Australia website, the craft+design enquiry journal, the Selling Yarns website and the rightway online hub will also be passed on to appropriate organisations to ensure continued access to this material. We will let you know how this transfer of assets progresses.
What you can do
We have had enormous support from our readers and subscribers including many from overseas through our online petition. Many of these responses are on the Craft Australia website. We thank you for your feedback. Over1800 people have signed the petition. This support has been a valuable indicator proving that in fact Craft Australia is relevant to the sector and people are concerned about this decision by the Australia Council.
The petition is still live on the Craft Australia home page and we welcome your feedback.