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Articles on Australia Council

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Paul Fletcher, Minister for Communications, Urban Infrastructure, Cities and the Arts. AAP Image/Mick Tsikas

What happens when your arts minister suffers from cultural cringe?

Arts Minister Paul Fletcher has taken aim at what he calls a ‘cosy club’ of arts elites. But his claim of ‘unprecedented’ arts funding and a push for greater fairness don’t add up.
Then national theatre critic of The Australian, Katharine Brisbane and her husband, drama academic, the late Dr Philip Parsons, two years after they founded Currency Press in 1971, with their children Nick, now chair of Currency Press, and Harriet, this year replacing Katharine as Director of Currency House. Currency House

Katharine Brisbane has been a leader in Australian theatre for decades. Her new proposal is her most daring yet

Ex theatre critic for The Australian and founder of Currency Press and Currency House, Katharine Brisbane, now 89, has issued a call to arms for the arts to be taken seriously.
Kate Winslet in the 2015 film The Dressmaker. The film was based on the novel by Australian writer Rosalie Ham. Screen Australia, Film Art Media, White Hot Productions

Gail Jones: Australian literature is chronically underfunded — here’s how to help it flourish

Literature funding has been cut brutally in recent years and writers’ incomes are disastrously low. Yet books shape our national identity, forming an often invisible bedrock for the wider economy.
The Bell Shakespeare Company – established with support from the Trust – had to end its touring season of Hamlet early due to coronavirus. Brett Boardman

The problem with arts funding in Australia goes right back to its inception

Public funding for the arts was not originally intended to be a permanent arrangement. But some economic fundamentals mean that it’s necessary.
The Australian Ballet, here performing Monument, is one of the 29 Major Performing Arts companies whose funding is guaranteed. Artists are calling for these 29 organisations to lose their special status. Lukas Coch/AAP

Just 29 companies receive 59% of Australia Council funding. Artists are calling for a change

Among growing feelings of despair in the Australian arts sector, more than 700 leading artists and arts-workers have signed a petition calling for the Major Performing Arts framework to be abolished.
Kate Sherman and Nicci Wilks in Theatreworks’ 2016 production of the play Animal. The acclaimed Melbourne theatre company has lost its long-term Australia Council funding. Theatreworks

Cut throat competition, ‘corporate-speak’ and dark ironies: two new five-year arts plans

Both the Australia Council’s and South Australia’s new five-year arts plans talk the talk, but fail to provide vital arts funding and structural support for a diverse arts culture.
A scene from Bangarra Dance Theatre’s Lore: the oldest continuing culture in the world resonates with overseas audiences. Jeff Tan/Newzulu

‘Australia has no culture’: changing the mindset of the cringe

Why do students still describe Australia as a ‘young’ country lacking culture? Are our universities doing enough to to teach Australian films, artwork and books?
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…

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