Localising culture: the growth in the regional gallery sector and its impact on government support

Brett Adlington


The regional art gallery sector in Australia has grown significantly in the past two decades, with many local councils investing heavily in the building of new regional galleries or expanding existing ones. Whilst there is no national cultural policy in Australia, the local government sector has embraced cultural planning to a high degree. The external mechanisms that have influenced local government to place so much importance on cultural planning infrastructure, seem to have left councils in a position where they are now supporting infrastructure that they cannot fully fund. To compound this, the growth in the regional gallery sector is not matched by corresponding growth in funding available at a State and national level, thereby creating an unhealthy competition for finite financial support. This paper examines the issues that have led to this point and asks how the sector may try reinventing itself to become more sustainable.

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Asia Pacific Journal of Arts and Cultural Management; ISSN 1449-1184
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