Reset: A New Public Agenda for the Arts – conference

Reset: A New Public Agenda for the Arts conference took place on Kaurna Yerta in November 2021 and offered two days and nights of thinking and discussion about how the arts and cultural sector could work to break out of the current impasse through a radical reorganisation of cultural practice and policy.

There’s no doubt that the arts and cultural sector is facing a crisis in Australia. After years of cuts, the gig economy, undermining of the public and democratic value of the arts, and the ever-widening gap between haves and have-nots, the sector has been slammed by the pandemic, with long-term consequences set to last years. The way out of this mess cannot be incremental tinkering, but rather a transformative reset of policy and advocacy – a bold new public agenda for the arts.

How do we return arts and culture to their rightful place in public policy? What would public reconstruction of the arts look like? How could we create a fairer deal for artists and arts workers? What kind of new ‘policy imaginary’ can place arts and culture at the heart of a healthy, diverse, inclusive, and participatory democracy?

Presented by: Arts Industry Council of South Australia and Reset (Flinders University, University of Adelaide, and University of South Australia), in association with the Don Dunstan Foundation.

About the organisers

Reset is a network of practitioners, policymakers, and academics from all three universities in South Australia, seeking to promote the public value of art and culture, and re-establish their place in progressive policy and in our everyday citizenship.

Reset seeks to respond to the crises in arts and cultural policy and practice through considering a wide range of ideas through the lens of alternative economics, ecological thinking, people-centred design, labour rights, and radical proposals gaining momentum in response to the pandemic.

The Arts Industry Council of South Australia (AICSA), the state’s peak representative advocacy body for the arts, and the Don Dunstan Foundation, a thought leadership organisation inspiring action for a fairer world, are both members of the Reset network.

You never change things by fighting the existing reality. To change something build a new model that makes the existing one look obsolete.

Buckminster Fuller