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Ben Eltham —

Ben Eltham

Crikey arts commentator

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Arts sector pulls out the big guns to fight the culture war

Arts sector pulls out the big guns to fight the culture war

Ben Eltham September 6, 2017 2 Comments

A new arts lobby group will crunch cultural spending by federal electorate, and use focus groups to hone a pro-culture message, reports Ben Eltham. But will it work?

Can an actual artist afford to go to the Melbourne Festival?

Can an actual artist afford to go to the Melbourne Festival?

Ben Eltham August 1, 2017 2 Comments

Most artists earn below the minimum wage for their art. So how are they going to be able to afford a $700 Melbourne Festival ticket?

Not a single female author in Australia worthy of ABR’s gender fellowship

Not a single female author in Australia worthy of ABR’s gender fellowship

Ben Eltham March 10, 2017 3 Comments

Literary journal ABR advertised for a ‘gender fellowship’. But when the applications came in, none were deemed good enough.

Another $9m secretly slashed from Australia Council

Another $9m secretly slashed from Australia Council

Ben Eltham February 10, 2017 4 Comments

The government has taken another $9.2 million from the Australia Council, without any notice. The council decided at a board meeting to draw down $10 million from its own reserves.

Uni students are dropping out at scandalous rates? Not so fast.

Uni students are dropping out at scandalous rates? Not so fast.

Ben Eltham January 20, 2017 11 Comments

The problem with the "uni students are failing to graduate!" narrative is that it is a massive beat-up.

Aussie arts sector to get a new think tank, but is that a good thing?

Aussie arts sector to get a new think tank, but is that a good thing?

Ben Eltham December 9, 2016 2 Comments

An underground conference and a new think tank announcement from the top end of town show that Australian culture is starting to mobilise.

Govt wants to prop up opera while small arts companies sing the blues

Govt wants to prop up opera while small arts companies sing the blues

Ben Eltham October 26, 2016 6 Comments

The government wants to bail out Australia's large opera companies. But small-to-medium companies suffering under funding cuts are not happy.

James Paterson’s sledge of Pollock painting is jingoistic dog-whistling — and it’s wrong

James Paterson’s sledge of Pollock painting is jingoistic dog-whistling — and it’s wrong

Ben Eltham October 7, 2016 20 Comments

Senator James Paterson says the Australian government should sell Jackson Pollock's Blue Poles. But it would mean selling more than a canvas.

The real reason George Brandis took so much money out of the arts

The real reason George Brandis took so much money out of the arts

Ben Eltham August 5, 2016 7 Comments

Why did George Brandis conduct the 2015 Excellence Raid? There is one very simple reason.

Totally coincidentally, noisy critics of arts cuts miss out on funding

Totally coincidentally, noisy critics of arts cuts miss out on funding

Ben Eltham June 7, 2016 4 Comments

The Australia Council’s funding cuts have hit grassroots organisations representing artists, particularly hard.