Leading Indigenous performing arts organisation, Bangarra Dance Theatre, will reconsider a proposed tour to regional New South Wales in 2019 after its application for funding was rejected by the state government.
Twenty nine successful applicants will share $1.1 million in funds from the art and cultural development program. In previous years, the program provided groups up to $1.8 million.
The state’s arts funding agency, Create NSW, was criticised last month by 57 music and arts organisations who called for better funding.
In a statement to NITV, a spokesperson for Bangarra said the organisation did not view the outcome of the grant applications as a loss of funding.
“We are well aware that these rounds are incredibly competitive – as they are in the philanthropic and corporate spaces – and our success is never guaranteed,” she said.
“We are absolutely committed to reaching regional audiences in NSW in the near future and we are working with the State Government to achieve this.”
Regional tours add higher transport and accommodation costs. Arts companies seek government funding to keep ticket prices similar to city performances.
In state parliament this week, that NSW Arts Minister Don Harwin denied the opposition's suggestions he had directed Create NSW to reallocate funding to the Big Little Histories event in Canowindra – a historic township 300km west of Sydney.
"Given the competitive nature of the majority of funding programs, unfortunately not all worthy applications can be funded," Mr Harwin said.
The NSW state government has focused arts spending on a $200 million renovation to the Sydney Opera House, a $244 million new wing to the Art Gallery of NSW and the $200 million Walsh Bay arts precinct.