Funding Sustainability

Regular Australia Council funding supports many arts organisations to engage thousands of artists

The Australia Council supported 168 arts organisations with regular funding in 2012, including performing arts producers, galleries, arts and craft centres, festivals and service organisations.[1]

These organisations employ and contract thousands of artists and creative professionals each year.

The Major Performing Arts sector employed over 1,500 [2] artists and creative practitioners in 2012, including 863 permanent full-time staff. Orchestras employ more artists and creative practitioners (664) than opera (412), theatre (234) and dance (218) organisations.

Employment across most art forms is found to be a mixture of both full-time and casual contracts when comparing full-time equivalent (FTE) and headcount. Theatres lean more towards casual and contract employment as reflected by the notable difference between headcount (1368) and FTE (234)


[1] Arts organisations data is based on acquittal information and is subject to change based on updated data received from the Key Organisations and MPAs.

[2] Full time equivalent employee numbers. The actual number employed as artists/ creatives in 2012 was 5,552 people