News: I stand with the Arts

Date posted: 16 Jun 2016Author: STC

Sign this petition to show our politicians what the Arts mean to you

Art and theatre companies across Australia have joined forces to make culture an election issue, and we ask you to get involved.

In Australia, the creative industries generate $50 billion per year towards the Australian economy. The arts sector employs more people than agriculture, construction or mining.

On 13 May this year, 50% of small to medium arts companies did not receive funding as a result of the government’s cuts to the Australia Council for the Arts, its arts funding and advisory body.  Many of those companies will shut their doors forever.  Well over one thousand artists and arts workers are expected to lose their jobs. 

Not only will a generation of artists be lost, but these cuts will have flow on effects across Australia’s cultural industries, educational institutions and the commercial sector.

This is not just about artists. This is about you, our audiences.

If you love the theatre, the stories we tell on stage, exploring art galleries, attending Australia’s vibrant festivals, discovering incredible emerging talents, marvelling at awesome artists in live performance, seeing blockbuster musicals or any other form of cultural engagement, then you can help us by showing politicians how invested you are in the arts industry. 

We are asking the Federal Government to return the $72.8 million in funding to the Australia Council for the Arts that has been cut.

Take action

Here's how you can support the Arts in the lead up to election day on Saturday 2 July:

  • Visit and sign the petition
  • Share your concerns with your network on social media by tagging #istandwiththearts and #ausvotesarts
  • Write an email or letter of support for the arts to your local candidates – find yours here
  • Write to the Arts Minister:
  • Understand your candidates position on the arts and take this into account when voting on Sat 2 July

#istandwiththearts at Sydney Theatre Company

If you’re attending STC over the next two weeks, you can engage with #istandwiththearts in our venues.

At the conclusion of performances leading up to election day, STC artists will address the audience about the impact of the funding cuts, and ask you to show our politicians what the arts means to you - no matter what party you support.

Venue staff will also hand out #istandwiththearts cards for you to sign and address to your local MP. We will then send the cards to the relevant local MPs, or you can send it yourself, or you can sign the petition at

Did you know?

  • More than 11 million Australians visit a gallery annually – more than the number who attended live football events *
  • 95% of Australians say they engaged with the arts “in some way” in the previous year **
  • 85% of Australian say they believe the arts makes life richer and more meaningful  **


* Source: Australian Bureau of Statistics, 2010/2011
** Source: Australia Council’s 2014 survey into Australian participation in the arts