Art Gallery proves its $19.8m tourism worth

In Australian Cultural Exports, Australian Domestic Tourism, Government, Momentum, National Headlines, South Australia, Tourism Routes

From Adelaide Now

THE first economic impact study undertaken at the Art Gallery of South Australia shows it delivers a $19.8 million benefit to the state.

But the gallery’s director, Nick Mitzevich, says it still relies almost entirely on private benefactors and donations to acquire new works.

Yesterday Erin, 5, had a close encounter with Swiss artist Thomas Hirschhorn’s Twin-Subjecter in the refurbished Melrose Wing.

The sculpture was purchased in  2011 through the gallery’s donor  foundation. Of the $2.03 million in acquisitions made by the gallery in 2010-11, 98 per cent came from benefactors – either as gifts of works of art or financial donations for their purchase.

The gallery also relied heavily on the support of volunteers.

In 2011-12, the volunteers had contributed about 15,000 hours of  their time.

Mr Mitzevich said: “We always need to be aspirational about growing and increasing our funding level because we’ve got a very wide-ranging task to undertake in the community.”

In 2010-11, the gallery received an operating grant of $6.59 million and a capital grant of $1.88 million from the State Government.

The economic report found the gallery generated $3 worth of economic activity for every dollar of funding and created 191.3 full-time-equivalent jobs.

Federal Arts Minister Simon Crean, meanwhile, announced a $235 million arts package yesterday to revamp grants and boost jobs as part of the first national cultural policy since 1994.

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