Articles on Arts funding

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Peter Coleman-Wright and Merlyn Quaife during a dress rehearsal of Bliss in 2010: it is one of few important local operas over the past three decades to have been staged a second time. Tracey Nearmy/AAP

Friday essay: where is the Great Australian Opera?

Australian operas have been written about many pressing topics - from the Stolen Generations to the Lindy Chamberlain case - but few have been staged a second time. What is going wrong?
‘The shape of things to come’, installation view at Buxton Contemporary, the University of Melbourne, March 2018. Photograph by Christian Capurro.

Private collectors are saving Australian art, but they can’t do it on their own

Philanthropists are creating new galleries to share their private collections with the Australian public. But these gifts do not ameliorate the deficit left by declining government arts fundings.
Artist Cathrin Machin successfully crowdfunded her project Beautifully Nerdy Deep Space Paintings & Prints. Cathrin Machin/Used with permission

Is the future for artists in crowdfunding?

Many Australian artists have seized on the chance to crowdfund their work through agents such as Patreon and Kickstarter. But crowdfunding should not be a substitute for government support for the arts.
The income gap between men and women is wider in the arts than the average gap across all industries in Australia. This is especially so for female writers, visual artists and musicians. Dmytro Zinkevych/shutterstock

The gender pay gap is wider in the arts than in other industries

The average Australian female artist is better educated than her male counterpart but earns significantly less than him, new research shows. And artists' incomes are declining in real terms.
Opera is treated differently to other artforms in Australia. AAP Image/Tracey NearmyAAP Image/Tracey Nearmy

Does opera deserve its privileged status within arts funding?

It is a strange reality but opera as an artform is always given special and arguably preferential treatment by governments and other influential forces in Western society. This happens, it seems, regardless…
The creative arts are not a lifestyle choice. They are a life. Dan Himbrechts/AAP

University cuts – the dire implications for the creative arts

The plan is there is no plan. On climate change, immigration, energy, marriage equality – pick an area – the federal government displays policy desuetude and political exhaustion. Around the world, the…
Rather than more measurement of culture, we need more conversation about what kind of culture Australia wants. AAP Image/Tracey Nearmy

A new approach to culture

A new approach to arts advocacy and research could be the breath of fresh air the sector needs - or just more of the same.
Nearly three-quarters of Australians go to live art events, such as Dark Mofo in Hobart. Stefan Karpiniec/Flickr

Creative country: 98% of Australians engage with the arts

New survey from the Australia Council shows pretty much all Australians engage with the arts, and 8-in-10 do so online. However more people are ambivalent about public arts funding, and more people think the arts are too expensive.
An installation by the conceptual artists Frank and Patrik Riklin: From the bunker to the countryside - with ‘rooms’ without walls or a roof. Ennio Leanza/EPA

Are we counting culture to death?

It’s a strange thing when the re-entry of genuine choice into political contests is framed as “anti-politics”. It feels more historically accurate, and logical, to see it the opposite way. For the past…
As thrilling as they are for audiences, Australia’s musical theatre scene is dominated by productions honed on the West End and Broadway. PAUL MILLER

Where are the new Australian musicals? Waiting in the wings

Musical theatre nominees at the 2017 Helpmann Awards are dominated by overseas productions. Our own productions need way more support to compete on the world stage.
Writing has never been easy, but sending writers out to find new ideas and people might be one way to help. Shutterstock.com

The best way to support writers is to feed them new ideas

Writers like Frank Moorhouse and Ben Eltham have proposed new long-term fellowships to support writing. But a better way may be more smaller grants, offering opportunities for travel.
George Brandis in 2014: instigator of the Catalyst mess. Lukas Coch

The end of Catalyst: four ironies

An oft-occurring phrase in Peter Temple’s award-willing crime novel, Truth, is “moving on”. Characters say it when they want to change the subject, or there doesn’t seem much more to say about a subject…
Performers protesting the Brandis decision outside the Sydney Opera House in 2015. Paul Miller/AAP

After the Catalyst arts funding mess, many questions remain

The arts sector lobbied hard against the Catalyst funding model, which the ALP had labelled 'a ministerial slush fund'. But will the money returned to the Australia Council go to those who need it?
A termite mound in Cape Range National Park: WA’s geography has helped shape its writers. Susanna Dunkerley/AAP

From Tim Winton to Gail Jones: why writing matters in WA

With its dramatic landscape, relative isolation and vibrant counter culture, Western Australia has a thriving writing scene. But government funding cuts are biting.

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