Dec 16, 2015

Christmas stockings very empty for the arts, with $52m more cut

Arts copped a beating under Abbott, and Turnbull has continued that recent tradition.

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

Ben Eltham

Crikey arts commentator

It’s going to be a bleak Christmas for the arts in Australia.


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6 thoughts on “Christmas stockings very empty for the arts, with $52m more cut

  1. Norman Hanscombe

    I’d suggest Australian Citizens wouldn’t be against many of the sorts of grants you list being not merely reduced but cut out entirely. Taxpayers are entitled to see the sorts of largesse tossed around previously by our Politicians being made part of the belt tightening undertaken in a society such as Australia, where we’re patently living beyond our means.

  2. Brian Fox

    “An exciting time to be an Australian’, Mr Turnbull, is when you realise that the “innovation” you exhort cannot come from the barren rock of unimaginative minds. Art, in all its manifestations, is where a people are moved into a place where the human condition is explored in all its complexities. It is where communication is honed to a form that moves people to observe rather than glance, listen rather than speak, reveal rather than conceal deep truths about themselves. When art speaks it moves people to a higher appreciation of the world they live in and the peoples that inhabit that world. Art practitioners hone their communication skills, learn to read others and understand different perspectives, raise the spirits of people through beauty of language, beauty of form and beauty of musical expression. It is where young minds are shaped into imaginative and innovative human beings. Arts practitioners in small country towns, living on the whiff of an oily rag are already doing extraordinary things with the young, the not so young and the disabled to improve their lives and stimulate their imaginative processes. They enliven the communities in which they dedicate their expertise and their lives. How you have cheapened all that with your swingeing cuts.You have demonstrated the paucity of thought and imagination within your government because the cuts destroy one of the few sectors from which the innovative minds you spout about will spring. You have proven what I long suspected, you are “full of sound and fury signifying nothing.”

  3. AR

    What’s wrong with starving in a garret – without cottonwool real art might be created.
    Unless, as usual, 99% are talentless poseurs?

  4. Norman Hanscombe

    Brian Fox, of course as you say, innovation “cannot come from the barren rock of unimaginative minds” but innovations which provide longer term economic benefits to Australian Citizens isn’t coming from the sorts of puerile rubbish all too often benefitting from the taxpayer largesse thrown at them by chattering class dilettantes who influence too much of the grant moneys, is it.
    The ‘communications’ occurring in fine arts may move the soul, but that’s a far cry from moving the intellectual aspects of our species in directions required to develop economically useful technologies. If the chattering classes want to develop the talents they imagine are out there, since they’re among those benefitting from economic production in fields of endeavour they never come across in their daily lives, they’re in a better position than most Citizens to put their money where their mouths incessantly bleat.

  5. helen johnson

    What does it say about our society that young people bear the brunt of these cuts? Art affords reflection on the way we live, our idea of society, out sense of identity. All of which are gravely needed in Australia. The saddest part about the butchering of the Australia Council was the cutting of the ArtStart program that provided grants to recent graduates – and I say that as a mid-career artist. The upside is that this situation has reinforced a culture of radical thought among younger artists, many of whom are actively seeking alternative modes of practice that do not rely on funding, or on money at all – squatting a rooftop carpark in the city for a one night exhibition, holding a group show in a bombed out car down a Fitzroy alleyway, starting a gallery inside a cupboard on wheels, for some examples. This generation may struggle to make a living from art but I feel hopeful and excited for what they realise as artists.

  6. Rena Zurawel

    Inter arma silent musae

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