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Ecosystems/ enablers in the arts and creative industries in Fiji

Koya, Cresantia F. and Vaka'uta, Lingikoni (2018) Ecosystems/ enablers in the arts and creative industries in Fiji. [Professional and Technical Reports] (Unpublished)

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This paper provides an overview of the broader contemporary arts system in Fiji and enablers for the creative industries and establishes the entry point for the national gallery of contemporary art. The contemporary art system is an important subsector of the Creative Industries. It includes the public sector, private sector, Universities and Art Schools, Art Suppliers, Art NGOs, Local Galleries and Art Spaces, Artist Groups and Collectives, Art Companies and Agents, The Media, Art Critics and Writers, Tourists, Expatriates and Local Consumers and the General Public. This system is currently incomplete in Fiji and will require arts funding and investment for growth and development. Other factors for consideration include growing a literate art society and creative industry statistics as well as growing the art market and exploring linkages with the tourism sector. The National Gallery of Contemporary Arts (NGCA) will be a central institution for the creative industries and will play a critical role in the contemporary arts system. As a public gallery NGCA can and will provide a much needed national emphasis on the contemporary arts which will also create an interest in other commercial galleries and spaces. There are a small number of art galleries in Fiji at the moment catering for contemporary visual arts. These include the USP Gallery of Oceanian Art, Tagimaucia Art and Craft Gallery, the China Cultural Centre Gallery and two resort based galleries – the Leleuvia Resort Waisiliva Gallery and the Gallery Gondwana at Denarau. Over the years, while there have been other commercial galleries, these have not been able to sustain operations in a high rent and low-art literate environment. The Arts continue to be marginalized in education in Fiji. Basic Education does not currently provide for meaningful arts teaching and learning opportunities. The Fiji National University offers the most number of art programmes ranging from teacher education courses to certificate and diploma courses in applied arts such as graphic design, printing, music, film/ TV production and fashion. The University of the South Pacific also offers teacher education courses and has a new degree programme which will allow potential students to undertake studies in visual arts, dance and music. Limited understanding of arts related career opportunities and lack of non-formal and tertiary programmes on offer, potential arts students are not able to make informed study choices. The arts have continued to function in Fiji as a result of the efforts of a number of primary institutions. These include the Department of Heritage and Arts, Fiji Arts Council, Fiji Museum, Fiji Arts Club and the Alliance Française. The establishment of the NGCA will necessitate clear demarcations of roles between the DHA, FAC and NGCA to prevent overlaps in roles and function and to ensure appropriate resource allocation across these national institutions. The economic benefits of the creative industries are globally recognized. In Fiji, the lack of comprehensive data does not permit for considered analytics. Data that is available shows that there is considerable income estimated at FJD $100M or 1.6% in 2016. Dated employment sector statistics further show that around 9.4% or 33, 292 workers were involved in craft and related sectors over the 2010 – 2011 period. With many arts transactions occurring in the grey economy that is untaxed or monitored, it is not possible to trace the actual contribution to GNP or GDP. Improved creative industry statistics will help formulate a clearer picture of the industries and the contributions of the arts. It will be important to establish legislative and tax policy frameworks for Fiji. Important legislature include an NGCA Act; the National Culture Policy; Fiji Culture and Education Strategy, Cultural Statistics Framework; Heritage Bill and TKEC Bill. These will set the national focus for culture and the arts in Fiji and will determine national investment. All of these with the exception of the TKEC Bill are prioritized within the 5-year and 20-year national development plan. The TKEC Bill is important as it will provide for cover of intellectual property and copyright for collective cultural knowledge and will be a reference point for the protection of creative practices and production of creative works in Fiji. A possible tax policy framework may include artist-based tax-incentives, place-based incentives and industry-based incentives. These incentives on tax deductibles, exemptions and on custom duty will not only assist artists and creative producers, but will also encourage related art sector stakeholders such as art suppliers who will be able to import art materials at a lower cost. It will also encourage philanthropic support from individuals and the private sector including smaller business houses and corporate industry. At the moment, there is tax incentives for the film industry but this does not extend to other art genres. Arts Funding is critical to stimulating the creative industries and for development of the arts. While there are art events and competitions such as the Kula Awards and the National Arts Exhibition each year, these are dependent on funding sponsorship. Private sector funding from local business houses were once common but have declined in recent years. Tax rebates would help encourage future sponsorship from business sector. Government funding provides the main inflow of financial support for the culture sector. Positively, there is recorded increases in national funding to culture and the arts but there is still very little investment in the creative industries themselves. In 2014, of the FJD $3.1M allocated to the Culture Sector, FJD $100K was allocated for the cultural industries. The Fiji Budget Report and Budget Estimates 2018 – 2019 show an allocation of FJD $3M for the establishment of NGCA and FJD 5.6M towards DHA. The latter includes an FAC grant of FJD $532K and FJD $160K for the cultural industries. More funding is needed for the cultural industries but a etter understanding of the needs of the arts sector is needed for increased targeted funding in those specific areas of need. Ultimately, the sustainability of NGCA will be dependent on establishing a clear definition of contemporary arts and legislature which will mandate the scope and governance of the gallery. Strategic stakeholder relationships will need to be explored, in particular with government, Private sector and businesses, Universities, Art Schools and NGOs, Media, Art Market and the General Public. Staffing of the gallery will need to be determined and relevant qualified individuals recruited both locally and internationally. Resource needs of the gallery will need to be established and a funding framework drawn up to ensure that the gallery is operational and able to fulfil its multiple roles.

Item Type: Professional and Technical Reports
Subjects: N Fine Arts > N Visual arts (General) For photography, see TR
N Fine Arts > NX Arts in general
Divisions: Faculty of Arts, Law and Education (FALE) > Oceania Centre for Arts, Culture and Pacific Studies
Depositing User: Cresantia Koya-Vaka'uta
Date Deposited: 22 Jun 2020 00:34
Last Modified: 22 Jun 2020 00:34

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