The findings from 'Working in the Australian Entertainment Industry: Final Report', from Entertainment Assist and Victoria University October 2016, are damning and highlight an industry in severe distress. Despite artists being truly passionate about their work, the lack of industry support and toxic culture can no longer be overlooked.
- 20% of Artists report being addicted to alcohol and /or drugs vs 4.5% of the general community
- 44% of Artists have symptomology identified as Mild to Severe Anxiety vs 3.7% of the general community
- Suicide attempts by artists are at double the rate of the general community
Fundamentally the Arts are about Social Inclusion, it has been proven that participation in cultural and recreational activities has major benefits for our mental health and our social well-being. A night out to a show with a group of friends has been shown to help us create shared stories where we can define our culture and values and strengthen our support networks as detailed in 'Promoting Mental Health through accessing the Arts' from VIC Health September 2006
When Artists suffer, the Arts at large suffers and we are all worse off for it.
It's not all glitter and applause in the Performing Arts and here at Cherri On Top we want to ensure that all performers have the necessary tools to not just put on ripper performances but to also run their businesses effectively while also ensuring that they don't neglect to care for their mild mannered alter egos.
We are dedicated to helping performing artists learn to safeguard and promote their wellbeing by encouraging them to fully realise their potential both on and off the stage. We aim to combat the rise of mental illness in the Arts by helping performers to properly value their offerings and prepare for a life beyond the spotlight.
We run workshops to teach wellbeing, business and ethical production skills, we work with young aspiring performers to prepare them for the realities of a career in the performing arts and speak at events to raise awareness of the state of the plight of Australian Performing Artists. In addition to this we are often called on to provide trauma and counselling referrals and provide support to perfomers reporting incidents to the police or seeking legal assistance. Our workshops and mentoring services are run at as low a cost as we can manage as a small social enterprise but our referrals and support services are at no cost. We believe it is imperative that performers have somewhere to turn to when things go wrong and there are so few places from which they can seek information or support without judgement and potential reputational damage that we could not possibly not make ourselves available nor could we charge for our time in these instances.
Your sponsorship will allow us to maximise the reach of our events and make more people aware of our services and allow us to continue to provide these important services as low or no cost to the performers who need them.