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The Major Performing Arts Sector in Australia

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The Major Performing Arts sector in Australia

The Major Performing Arts (MPA) sector comprises ‘28 leading Australian companies in the fields of dance, theatre, opera and orchestral and chamber music’ (Australian Council, 2012: 3) [The list of the 28 companies see the Appendix]. By 1997, this sector encountered great financial and artistic difficulties. In this case, the Australia Government announced the establishment of the Major Performing Arts Inquiry (MPAI) in 1998 and the final report ‘Securing the Future’ was released next year (Australian Major Performing Arts Group). The statistics demonstrates that the MPA sector is developing stably over the past 14 years.
The MPA sector’s income is mainly from three sources: box office, government funding and private sector. In 2012, the sector received about $420m income in the aggregate, increasing from $261m in 2001. The box office income amounted to $203m, which increased from $117m in 2001 and occupied nearly 50% of the total income (Australia Council, 2013). The growth of the box office is partly depends on the increase of audience number and partly on the 44% average increase of the sector ticket prices (Australia Council, 2012: 11). Around $140m were from both federal and state governments and the private sector contributed $65m. The 28 companies reported a combined operating surplus of $12.7m in 2012. With the huge amount of income, the MPA sector employed about 8,400 people, including 4,600 artists (Australia Council,
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