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Kulcha closes its doors after 30 years
Kulcha closes its doors after 30 years

Kulcha, one of the State's oldest and most significant arts companies, has announced its closure after 30 years of promoting multicultural arts around WA.

All upcoming events have been cancelled effective immediately, including Kulcha’s nationally broadcast Oz Concert 2014 production during Harmony Week next month.

Kulcha, the trading name of Multicultural Arts of WA, has blamed a shaky economy and the State Government's refusal to provide a financial rescue package for its decision to wind up its operations because of challenges in maintaining sustainable income levels.

The organisation, based at its performance venue in Fremantle, won the WA Office of Multicultural Interests’ 2013 Community Service Excellence award and the National 2012 AbaF Regional Partnership award.

“Being good at what you do is not sufficient to guarantee a future in the Arts in WA," Kulcha president Jon Strachan said.

"The rising costs of running an arts business and the lack of support for our multicultural artists from the State Government, means that after 30 years Kulcha is no longer able to survive.”

The Kulcha board cited a comparatively low core funding base from the Department of Culture and the Arts, a lack of support from the Office of Multicultural Interests and reduced sponsorship opportunities and philanthropic support as the prime reasons for Kulcha’s difficulties.

Last month, the State Government rejected a proposal to assist Kulcha financially to achieve its recapitalisation target of $150,000-$200,000, Mr Strachan said.

The board then sought formal financial consultancy advice on its solvency position, which has subsequently resulted in the DCA withdrawing Kulcha’s grant funding, he said.

Established in 1983 – originally as the North Perth Ethnic Music Centre – Kulcha has been dedicated to presenting, promoting and developing multicultural arts in WA.

The not-for-profit organisation has assisted culturally diverse local artists, coordinated multicultural events across WA, and run workshops and performances by international acts at its Kulcha Performance Club in Fremantle.