It’s an iron law of politics that the squeaky wheel gets the grease. Yet in spite of a quarter-century of the Australian arts sector being systematically squeezed -- derided as a self-indulgent drain hole for public money -- there has been very little squeak, with no effective and sustained campaign for funding of the sector as a whole.
Under pressure, bodies fracture. That’s another iron law. The failure to get a campaign off the ground despite the desperate need appears to indicate a sector that has Balkanised.
The sector is broken up into disciplines (dance, writing, visual arts, music, theatre, film and television) and within each sit sub-disciplines, state and regional bodies, small to medium v large, and Indigenous bodies. And each of these has its own peak bodies, personalities, internal cultures, historical baggage, and different policy and cultural focuses.