IMAGINE A WORLD WITHOUT THE ARTS ...
Culture and the arts are essential means by which human beings explain their experience, shape their identity and imagine the future. The arts, in its multitude of forms, ignites our imagination and engages our compassion by providing creative ways for us to understand difference and disadvantage.
The creativity and innovation that drives our arts sector plays a key role in building Australia's economic resilience. There is irrefutable evidence that communities with a thriving arts sector are more cohesive, healthy, productive and vibrant. The significant economic contribution of the arts sector to Australia's GDP – over $30 billion annually – should be celebrated. However, these economic indicators should not be privileged at the expense of the intangible benefits of the sector – those indefinable characteristics without which our society would not be civilized. The arts are society's connective tissue - they ignite our imagination and encourage us to see diverse perspectives; they provide inspiration, perspective, consolation. It is these remarkable characteristics that promote tolerance, enlightenment, diversity and social cohesion.
In order to live as compassionate human beings, we need to construct a society that enables us to develop imagination and empathy. This learning must be experienced in all dimensions – emotional, intellectual and spiritual. The most powerful place in which all these dimensions converge is in the arts. Without the arts, the disadvantaged in our community are further impoverished. As a small private foundation with limited resources, we believe our focus should be on supporting projects and organisations that deliver these objectives. For without the work of these organisations, the expressive life of our community would remain unrealised, and our creative potential as a nation is constrained and diminished.