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Ben Eltham —

Ben Eltham

Crikey arts commentator


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

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

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

June 7, 2016 4 Comments

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

Labor’s arts policy brings passion, vision to election — finally

June 6, 2016 9 Comments

Labor's arts policy is largely a repair job, but Shorten's passion for it harks back to the grander visions of Labor greats like Gough Whitlam.

‘Devastating’ OzCo grants just the tip of the iceberg

May 23, 2016 7 Comments

The Australia Council budget cuts are even worse than they seem. And the worst is yet to come.

Catalyst funding blows out by $12m as OzCo applicants sweat

May 12, 2016 2 Comments

The Catalyst funding scheme has blown out its budget in one big hit, giving money to large organisations (which is against its remit). Meanwhile smaller organisations wait for Australia Council grants to be announced.

Turnbull govt leaves arts in a sling, locking in Abbott-era cuts

May 4, 2016 1 Comment

The significant level of austerity imposed on our cultural institutions was confirmed in last night's budget.

Qld arts company collapse leaves funding and projects in limbo

April 28, 2016 1 Comment

Artslink Queensland has gone into voluntary administration, leaving those artists and projects depending on the company in limbo.

Arts sector’s worst nightmare comes true with Catalyst a smokescreen for pork

April 18, 2016 1 Comment

When the National Program for Excellence in the Arts -- now Catalyst -- was announced, many feared it would become nothing more than pork barrelling for favoured projects. They were right.

Are Sydney’s lockout laws killing nightlife or saving lives? Yes.

February 24, 2016 7 Comments

Proponents of the lockout laws say they are keeping Sydneysiders safe. Opponents say they are killing a vital part of Australia's cultural scene. Unfortunately they are both right.