Oct 19, 2012

Will the stars align for Queensland’s new arts bet?

Queensland's new Arts Minister has established a "superstar fund" to bring high-profile performing artists to the Sunshine State. But can she find a hit?

Ben Eltham — <em>Crikey</em> arts commentator

Ben Eltham

Crikey arts commentator

Queensland’s new Arts Minister Ros Bates has had a bumpy ride in her first six months in the position, as we’ve chronicled previously. Bates has sacked the deputy director-general of Arts Queensland, and then had to break the bad news of $12 million in cuts to arts grants. Most recently, she made headlines by criticising the commission of a $1 million sculpture by high-profile New Zealand contemporary artist Michael Parekowhai, labelling it an “appalling waste” of money.

In one respect Bates can be commended: she is following through on a Liberal-National Party election promise to establish a “superstar fund”. The fund will support major Queensland performing arts organisations to “develop a major local production featuring an internationally known artist or artists”. According to the Liberal-National Party election platform:

Free Trial

Proudly annoying those in power since 2000.

Sign up for a FREE 21-day trial to keep reading and get the best of Crikey straight to your inbox

By starting a free trial, you agree to accept Crikey’s terms and conditions


Leave a comment

2 thoughts on “Will the stars align for Queensland’s new arts bet?

  1. Dirtman

    “It’s interesting that Queensland is creating its new star fund at the same time it is winding back grants for small organisations and for emerging artists”

    I’m not sure ‘interesting’ is entirely the right word. ‘Predictable’? ‘Appalling’? ‘Unbelievably short-sighted’? As you point out, it seems like it’s currently politically expedient to cut so-called waste on cultural funding — except if the funding is going to already-rich people. I mean, we know they’re not undeserving, because they’re already rich, right?

  2. Cullan Joyce

    This does sound a bit like Newman hedging his bets by keeping the cultural capital of QLD built through large works while at the same time stripping finding back for artists on the ground. However I am always glad to hear of a new director/ minister who has some guts to go for big works.
    One thing, unfortunately there was an unwarranted verbal attack on an Andy Goldsworthy piece recently by the C-Mail which indicates a bit of a cultural hill to climb. So I wonder if or how the minster will incorporate a visual/ aesthetic ‘education’ so that the people will actually get some benefit from the presence of world class art and artists? But anyway, go for it Ros!!

Share this article with a friend

Just fill out the fields below and we'll send your friend a link to this article along with a message from you.

Your details

Your friend's details