Well the news is out, after months of hard work and negotiations Kulcha has finally had to close its doors. This is a sad result for the board, management and members of Kulcha. We really believed the Department of Culture and the Arts (DCA) when they said they valued Kulcha, and had real expectations they would assist financially. In November the Board submitted a recapitalisation proposal as advised, whilst simultaneously reducing our FTE by 40% to show real commitment from our side. Unfortunately not only did Minister Day reject our proposal outright he took an inordinately long time to come to his decision; time we did not have, being unable to seek alternative funds. On the very day we were given that bad news from DCA, Kulcha also received a letter from the ATO demanding full payment on a legacy debt that we had been doing our best to pay off.
The Arts industry is rallying behind Kulcha and this means a lot to the Board and Staff. Henry Boston, Executive Director of the Chamber of Arts & Culture said: “Kulcha was one of the few arts organisations that was actively mainstreaming multi-cultural voices in WA at a time when the states population has become increasingly diverse.” The Board’s concerns now lie with the emerging multicultural artists who no longer have Kulcha by their side. We are especially sad the showcase Oz Concert will not go ahead, we had great plans to build on last years huge success as the major event in Harmony Week.
The board are looking at hosting a meeting for members so we can explain what went wrong and answer questions. Hopefully a new force will emerge to take the place of Kulcha, WA’s multicultural community deserves this.
I’d like to thank the staff and board for staying the very difficult course and working long hours to try and save Kulcha.
Jon Strachan President of Kulcha Multicultural Arts of WA