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New ABC Arts Council

The following article was first published in ArtsHub Monday 14 April 2014.

The arts ‘key to what we do’ says ABC Arts Supremo

Richard Watts

In the face of looming cuts, the ABC announces new arts programming and an organisation-wide arts coordinating body.

ABC TV Head of Arts Katrina Sedgwick said today that the national broadcaster is in a unique position to help shape the way Australians see the role the arts play in their lives.

‘There’s an incredible range of people who are engaged actively with the arts – at every year level and every week – who might then say, “Oh but I don’t engage with the arts”. I think it’s about labels and I think absolutely the ABC is in a unique place, because of our reach as the national broadcaster, to absolutely play a part in breaking down those walls and inviting more people in. It should be, it must be key to what we do, and it must be part of our ambition,’ Sedgwick said.

The formation of a new ABC Arts Council, announced late last Friday, will greatly assist the broadcaster in helping break down people’s perceptions about the importance of the arts in their lives, she added.

‘Obviously the arts has been a charter requirement and a central part of the ABC’s output for the last 80 years, but it’s always been done with great commitment in each separate network or division. They’ve been working independently editorially, as is appropriate, but it’s been spread and fairly scattered through the organisation.’

The new ABC Arts Council – which Sedgwick will Chair – will meet monthly to coordinate arts coverage across all platforms: TV, Radio, News and Online.

To read more go to ArtsHub Monday 14 April 2014.