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Govt's support for the arts important: survey

Survey confirms importance of Government's support for the arts

A just-published survey confirms the importance of the government's cultural recovery package and other forms of support for New Zealand's creative professionals, says Associate Arts, Culture and Heritage Minister Judith Tizard.

Creative New Zealand has published Portrait of the Artist/Te whakaahua o te Tangata pukenga, a survey of professional practising artists in New Zealand.

"The survey of more than 1,000 professional practising artists provides an enormously valuable insight into the reality of being a practising arts professional in New Zealand," says Judith Tizard.

"It confirms what we already knew from anecdotal evidence - that our professional artists work incredibly hard at what they do, that the majority of them also work at other jobs and projects over and above their primary arts practice, and that they do this knowing they will earn less than the average New Zealand wage.

"Artists surveyed described their roles as helping create a unique national cultural identity, and reflecting and expressing life in New Zealand, including its cultural diversity. Most were motivated by a love and passion for their work."

Judith Tizard said the survey shows professional artists' earnings have been at the lower end of New Zealanders' average income. "This means that our arts professionals have for a long time been subsidising New Zealand's image as a creative and innovative nation through their hard work."

The survey also painted a vivid picture of the importance for artists of early arts experiences with families and teachers, and ongoing mentoring and support from family members, friends and peers, the Minister said.

"This report is a welcome confirmation that we have been on the right track with initiatives such as the new Arts Curriculum in schools, and the PACE programme through Work and Income, which assists job seekers to develop a career in the arts and creative industries.

"And it provides us with a clear view of issues that artists would like to focus on to help improve their financial status and business skills, such as marketing, contracts and copyright.

"Creative New Zealand has been using these findings in its strategic planning and work over the past few years. Now that the full survey has been published, I hope it will enable arts professionals, arts companies, tertiary institutions, other government agencies and businesses to better plan strategies for growth in the creative sector.

"I also want to thank the arts professionals who took part in the survey for their openness, generosity and willingness to share information about their working lives for the benefit of the sector."

For more information, visit Creative New Zealand's website.

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