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This year Sweet Adelines Australia celebrates 25 years and we’re featuring them with two articles in this newsletter. While the year is just getting started there is still a lot to report including news about live music, grants, Music Council activities, and of course the recent Australia Day honours list.

Calling teachers and parents!
We know you’d be lucky to get two minutes of a teacher or parent’s time at the beginning of a school year, that’s why our survey only takes one minute. Please tell us about your experience with parental involvement in school music programs, we would love to hear from you.

News & Articles
Sweet Adelines Australia is celebrating its 25th Anniversary, an outstanding achievement and a milestone for barbershop singing in Australia. We asked them what these choruses are doing in 2014 and what the future holds for Sweet Adelines.

The Australia Day honours list for 2014 includes a number of people who have made enormous contributions to musical and the arts in Australia.

“Any person with an open mind – and that certainly includes three-year-olds – can appreciate classical music. You only have to listen. The longer you listen, the better you will appreciate it. The same goes for any other sort of music.” – Andrew Ford wrote a wonderful piece titled ‘Imagining the future of music’ for Inside Story recently.

Moreland City Band is fighting plans by the local council to demolish its band hall, only three years after $135,000 was spent to accommodate them at Fleming Park.

Young Women in Harmony is an initiative of Sweet Adelines Australia, part of their 25th anniversary celebrations. They are calling on young women to get involved in the project.

Funding  This month there are two opportunities related to arts and disability, one for artists and groups for creating and presenting work, the other for organisations to improve access.

The Australia Council recently announced a new Artists with Disability Program, to enable artists with disability to create, development, present, produce, exhibit and tour their work. Individuals and groups who identify as having disability can apply for grants of up to $10,000 for development and up to $20,000 for arts projects. The program closes on 3 March 2014. Information sessions are being held in capital cities.

Arts Access Australia has launched its Access Fund for small to medium arts and cultural organisations, providing up to $2000 (no more than 50% of the cost of the project) for projects such as developing a Disability Action Plan, installing a lift or ramp or providing accessible information.

Recent Initiatives
We recently launched the Parental Engagement Project which aims to give parents the tools to advocate for more music in their school, and to provide resources, practical information and inspiration for parents wanting to support music in the school. The Music to Our Ears report is an important part of the project and presents the compelling case for more music in schools.

Our Community Choirs in Australia report gives a statistical snapshot of community singing, demographics, repertoire, finances, as well as contributions to and support from local communities.

National Arts and Health Policy Framework.  Late last year Australia’s progress towards arts and health policy reached another milestone with state, territory and federal health ministers agreeing to the National Arts and Health Policy Framework. It has been developed over a number years by arts and health advocates working with government, last year it was referenced in the Creative Australia policy and endorsed by federal, state and territory Arts ministers.

Public Arts Funding: ‘Towards Plan B’
A recent article in the Guardian (UK),  considers the current situation for funded arts organisations and strategies for survival and relevance. Community music groups might find that they relate to the suggestions for cultural organisations. See how many of these things you are already doing. Does this help you make the case for government support?
For further information: click on the link below to get to the Music In Communities Network Newsletter

or if you would like to subscribe to the Music in Communities Network contact Alex Masso


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