Friday, November 28, 2014

Australia Council 2008-14

In case you have ever wondered how the Australia Council fares on gender representation when awarding their grants, CoUNTess is here to share the data with you. And the news is positive.

We have discovered Tableau Public a data-visualisation tool with which to crunch the numbers in many complex ways. Where we would normally collect and count the gender representation figures ourselves, we have availed ourselves of the publicly available data published by the Australia Council  for the Arts, which has handily counted for us all the Visual Arts Board  grants awarded from 2008 to 2014 (here).

Our findings discovered that over these nine years women are indeed the largest group of funded individuals receiving almost $300,000 more than male artists, who are the second biggest individual category. CoUNTess knows there are actually more women artists than men artists because 65% of graduates from art degrees are women, so a 50.73% representation of women in this category is quite an achievement given the usual trend of under-representation-despite-tertiary-majority.

The amount of $ funded by grants each year has drastically dipped in 2014 by about half a million dollars.

The 'All Grants Funded' graph shows two categories where men are funded more than women: the 'New Work Established' category and the 'Studio Residencies'. We also grouped the funded grants data by year and by state to see if there where any fluctuations. One trend we noticed was that in 2010 the mens percentage of the total grants spiked.

The following graph shows the number of individuals who received one grant, two grants, three grants and more between 2008 and 2014.

The people making the decisions on grant recepients is the Peer Assessment Panel. From 2008-2011 the Peer Assessment Panel consisted of 5-7 people chaired by Ted Snell OAM; an artist and career academic with an impressive history of board chairing since 1999.  After 2012 the Australia Council website names the panel members but does not distinguish the roles of chair, voting member or peer advisor. 

Starting in 2008 you will notice there has been non-artists and crafts people on the peer panel: gallery directors, curators and arts writers. You will also notice how in 2014 the percentage of artists on the panel drastically reduced, from, on average, 65% to 27%.  There has certainly been a change of guard and the baby boomer three-year panel members reign is over. They been replaced by a much younger generation of artists and arts professionals who might sit on only one panel meeting.

There is another layer of data the Australia Council for the Arts provides: funding to organisations. It will take a lot more digging to see how the funded organisations distributed their grants. In our next post, CoUNTess will reveal the gender breakdown of these grants. This data dig should be interesting, as previous CoUNTess posts have shown that CAOS galleries have not distributed their funds with gender parity.

Stay tuned.


Anonymous said...

Thanks CoUNTess very impressive

Unknown said...

Thanks for your helpful article. Lovely this one.