The Arts Industry Council (Victoria) was formed in November 1989. Its formation followed a public meeting protesting cuts in the Arts Development Fund in the 1989-1990 state budget allocation to the Victorian Ministry of the Arts. The AICV was then formally incorporated in 1991.

In recognition of the need for a peak industry body to represent all the arts in Victoria, organisations and individuals immediately supported a much-needed industry voice. Through the AICV, this voice now fulfils an important function – a united face that represents all areas of arts activity in Victoria working for common purpose.

Since 1990, the AICV has made powerful contributions to lobbying, campaigning and policy – sometimes publicly, usually quietly and behind the scenes. Significant achievements over this time include:

  • In 2013, the AICV spearheaded debate and discussion around the Arts Victoria Organisations Investment Program and the VicArts Grants; it consulted with members on the proposed Victorian Arts and Culture Strategy; and it undertook advocacy around the impact of the state budget on the arts in Victoria.
  • In 2012, monitored and advocated for the small to medium sector regarding the Arts Victoria Organisations Program Review. The AICV consulted with arts peak bodies and wider membership in its development of a submission to the consultation.
  • In the lead up to the Coalition’s first budget in government in 2010/2011, the AICV campaigned for the continuation of three key Arts Victoria programs: Touring Victoria, Annual Operations and Community Partnerships, which were due to sunset.
  • In 2010, The AICV lead a campaign requesting tripartisan support for Victoria’s vibrant arts, in the lead up to the 2010 state election. We called for investment in Arts Victoria’s Arts Development Program, supporting independent artists, and companies to determine and propose their own creative projects.
  • Coordinating and linking the non-profit arts and the community sectors through the Community Leadership Alliance Project in 2009.
  • Delivering “Creative Futures” in 2008 to Arts Victoria and the Minister for the Arts.
  • Facilitating significant sector consultation, Think Tank, in 2007 at the Malthouse Theatre, resulting in the strategic document Creative Futures: Leadership for a Sustainable Victoria, reflecting sector position and employed in advocacy on behalf of the industry.
  • Engaging State Government through well researched statement of the needs of the sector, most recently through our 2006 “Australian Made” Paper, identifying $108mil in new program initiatives for the arts in Victoria, which is informing current lobbying on arts programming.
  • Producing our Forum Series “Arguing Art” in 2004 & 2005. This series activated new debate about how to talk about and position arts activity in the broader social context with repercussions within the broader community through our campaign work and the efforts of our members.
  • Undertaking extensive consultation with the arts sector in 2001 to prepare report called Making It Real, detailing strategic focus for arts and culture from the sector’s perspective. This forms the basis of AIC(V)’s own policy agenda. Making It Real was a significant source document for the development of the Victorian Government’s arts strategy, Creative Capacity + released in 2003.
  • Increasing recognition for the small arts sector by presenting a public forum on the small to medium performing arts sector in 2000 as part of a lobby strategy to get a national inquiry into the sector. This strategy was successful, with the Inquiry called in 2001, delivering a report in 2002. This process, begun in 1998, has ensured that the small – medium arts sector is recognised nationally for its critical role in creativity, production, audience engagement and economic impact.
  • Making industry submissions to the Nugent Enquiry into Performing Arts (1999), Review of the Small to Medium Performing Arts Sector (2001), Contemporary Visual Arts and Crafts inquiry (Myer Report – 2002), National Cultural Policy (2010) and numerous others.
  • Compiling Burning Issues documentation of needs of the industry (1993-1999) and negotiating with Arts Victoria for policy development.
  • Holding a State Conference, Arts 2000: Setting an Agenda, devising a unified vision for the arts 1990-2000.
  • Initiating Towards Federation, a state by state series of forums leading to the formation of the National Campaign for the Arts (later wound up in 1997).

AICV member Forty Five Downstairs. Photo by Jave Lee. Installation by Naomi Ota, Tony Yap Company.

Arts Industry member: RMIT Gallery. Shelter: On Kindness, Greg Burgess and Pip Stokes; John Neeson, Lab Architecture, March Studios and Peter Corrigan, installation shot, 2009. Photo: Mark Ashkanasy

Arts Industry Council member: Kultour. Touring, Lisa Hilli: Installation view Just Like Home. Photograph Lisa Hilli 2009.