Music SA names new GM, state calls for urgent $10M arts boost
This week saw two major moves in South Australia’s music and arts sector.
Peak association Music SA appointed Kim Roberts as its new general manager, effective July 1.
Meantime, the Arts Industry Council of South Australia made a pitch to the Legislative Council’s budget and finance committee for a $10 million post-COVID-19 survival and recovery fund.
Minister for innovation and skills David Pisoni noted Roberts’ appointment coincided with “what will be a critical time for South Australia’s music industry”.
“At a time when the industry is facing very big challenges, I am confident that Kim will provide both continuity and new directions for the organisation,” Music SA chair Anne Wiberg said.
Roberts’ 20-year career in the industry has included playing in two bands, broadcasting on community radio and promoting the SA leg of the Big Day Out festival.
Over the past two years, she was head of training at Music SA, specialising in curriculum development, e-learning and teaching of nationally accredited certificate level courses.
“As a long-standing advocate for local music, I’m genuinely excited to drive initiatives that promote, support and develop the local contemporary music industry,” Roberts said.
She replaces CEO Lisa Bishop who was appointed to the role in January 2015.
The Arts Industry Council told the Legislative Council was that one-third of the workers in SA’s music and arts sector are now unemployed.
It cited that 26.3% of the national arts and recreation sector became unemployed in the 12 weeks between the week ending March 14 and the week ending May 30.
But figures specific to the state, from political economist Greg Ogle, pointed to the higher figure.
AICSA chief executive Gail Kovatseff noted the SA government was one of the first to swing into action, with $2.5 million emergency funding to arts-run mental health initiatives.
AICSA’s said the $10 million would be used to create new work; assist organisations, venues and festivals; assist those who lost their jobs; strategies to encourage audience confidence and return, and to market the arts and cultural tourism; and continue to implement SA’s new Arts Plan.
AICSA also noted that NSW’s arts survival and recovery package of $50 million translated to $6.63 per head of population, Victoria’s was $7.72 per head and Queensland’s was $8.38 per head.
SA’s $12.5 million, including the $10 million asked for, would be $7.50 per head.