Budget cuts to the arts cut deep – QCP

General news0
Debra Porch, Maurice Ortega and Ian Were at QCP

The Westender received this statement from the Quensland Centre for Photography today, and thought it important that we share it with you.


On the 31st of October the Queensland Government announced it would no longer provide triennial funding for the Queensland Centre for Photography from the start of 2014. The Government has cut the core funding of QCP by $170,000 per annum.

The QCP has played a leading role in Queensland and across Australia promoting the work of photo-media artists, supporting industry growth both nationally and internationally.

Over the last year we have presented 70 artists in the exhibition program, profiled 10 artists internationally and two artists nationally, produced one publication for an emerging artist with two more in progress. As part of the biennial Queensland Festival of Photography (last held in 2012) more than 125,000 people participated in 74 events right across Queensland.

The cuts and austerity measures announced on the 31st of October were applied exclusively to the small to medium arts sector, with the timing of the announcement leaving only 8 weeks for affected organisations to find alternative ways of funding or sponsorship.

With the difficulties this area of the arts industry has in accessing corporate and philanthropic support, the cuts will have a devastating effect. Institutions facing the prospect of closing down will experience multiplying losses, placing a large part of the sector that have delivered art services to the community in a very difficult position.

The QCP’s estimated losses for next year are many times the announced cuts to its triennial funding. The larger loss for Queensland of venues, programs, professional knowledge and decades of investments developing artistic talent, not to mention the loss of intellectual capacity and experience, is impossible to estimate.

The organisations affected are at the core of the capacity for the state to develop artistic talent. They have been the bridge between educational institutions and the global art institutions in Queensland and Australia. Some were also key exporters of Queensland art to national and international markets; their closure in the mid and long term will greatly set back efforts to promote Queensland art to the world.

For QCP, as one of the leading institutions of photo-media art in Australia, the first group affected by the funding cut are the 70 artists scheduled in the exhibition program for the year 2014. Other programs such as QCP publications, the Queensland Festival of Photography and its international conference in April next year, among others are in a process of review as to our capacity to deliver them.

We have three weeks to find new strategic partners that would allow the institution to keep its doors open; if we are unable to do so, our key actions would be focused on ensuring the appropriate recognition of the work done by artists, educators and the community, as well as suitably archiving all materials- electronic or hard copy- that document and celebrate one of the most unique achievements in the photographic medium in Australia.

The QCP’s central role has been the development of artistic talent in the area of photo-media art in Australia through programs that develop community interest locally, nationally and the internationally. In that endeavour, we would like to thank the community of artists, sponsors, academics, collectors, art dealers, curators, publishers, and directors of other institutions that partnered with us during the last ten years. We would like to acknowledge the individuals and organisations that opened its doors and continue developing Australian photography and in doing so, encourage artistic development and provide sustainability for hundreds of artists. We would like to express our deep gratitude for the kindness of the artistic community of the USA, particularly in Los Angeles, that welcomed, mentored and made us recipients of a larger legacy of knowledge while celebrating the achievements of Australian photography. Our appreciation extends to the visionary individuals in government that for the last decade supported us, understanding the value of developing our own artistic voice as a nation.

These are difficult times, particularly for volunteers, staff, board members and artists. Your kind support means much and we hope you can join us at all the upcoming events marking a decade of achievements and to celebrate our community regardless of the adversity we are faced with.

If you know of anyone that you think could introduce us to a strategic partner and would like to assist us, please don’t hesitate to contact us.

If you would like to read more about these issues, here are some articles:

CCAS Social Pages




Excerpt Magazine blog


and about cuts to youth arts


The QCP Team

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