Tuesday, January 22, 2008
Embracing the Future: Effective Placement of Resources
- Saskatchewan Arts Alliance (SAA), a non-profit coalition of arts organizations, promotes the lively existence and continued growth of the arts and cultural industries in Saskatchewan. Our vision is a province where arts and artists are supported and valued as essential to a complete and healthy society.
Following is a plan to build Saskatchewan's arts sector. Together these measures will build a strong and sustainable sector. One that will benefit all people of Saskatchewan and contribute to our province's well being, to our quality of life, and to our economic and social vitality.
Government investment in the arts is crucial for a healthy and lively people in Saskatchewan. Money granted to the Saskatchewan Arts Board will provide support to individual artists and arts organizations. It is the cornerstone of arts activity in the province and should, at the very minimum, remain at its present value in terms of constant dollars. Through the lottery licence agreement SaskCulture, community-driven, provides support to a large network of organizations that provides access to cultural activity throughout Saskatchewan. Support of this core activity must remain, at the very least, at current levels.
Regions outside of Regina and Saskatoon must be assisted to develop arts and cultural opportunities. All granting agencies and SAA recognize the needs of South, Central and Northern Saskatchewan.
An amended Status of the Artist Act is one important way to support artists. Advancement on this important portfolio should begin immediately and should include adoption of a full Artists Code including the recognition of collective rights for those artists who wish to use it to improve their working lives. Beyond legislation, programs that address benefits and pensions need to be developed, as well as corrective measures that will give artists access to Workers' Compensation and Occupational Health and Safety.
Studies should be completed on the remaining cultural industries similar to the Music Industry Review. Development of tax credit programs for all cultural industries and enhanced awareness of career opportunities in cultural industries should occur.
Arts Literacy and Education
Arts education is foundational to a literate population and should be supported. Learning in the arts is important in itself and also equips our citizens with the critical thinking skills to decode the images and sounds they encounter in their world. Students in K-12 need full access to arts education, a required area of study in the core curriculum. Post-secondary institutions need to produce both instructors who are able to deliver arts education and the artists who, as content providers, are at the heart of the cultural industries.
Art galleries and museums, performance centres, and other cultural structures should remain one of government's priorities when provincial monies are available for community infrastructure.
Arts and Culture Policy
If government were to underpin all these measures with a clear and unified provincial policy, covering all ministries and crowns that dealt with the arts, three qualities would be gained: clarity, promotion, the value of the arts. The object of such policies should be to assist the arts to flourish, providing the public with increased quality of life.