The big news in the arts over the past week was the new of who missed out on renewed funding from teh Australia Council, after the funding budget was drastically cut to create the new Catalyst funding program. Below are some of the main stories and analysis, we are obviously still in the midst of the fall-out from this, though unfortunately arts and the funding of it doesn’t look to be much on the radar of the election campaign, though at least one new party wants to change this – the newly registered Arts Party, led by Sydney-based artist PJ Collins, will take a stand for the arts, cultural life and creative industries of Australia. Collins, who co-founded the party with Nicholas Gledhill back in 2013, says that “forming a political party to support the sector was a completely new approach to essentially advocating for the arts and our creative industries”.
On the Australia Council Funding
- ArtsHub has the details of the organisations who have lost their four-year funding.
- Thoughtful analysis by Esther Anatolitis – ‘there are plenty of good news stories. A great many Indigenous arts organisations will facilitate new work that the nation needs to experience… 28 organisations have been able to secure their work through multi-year funding for the first time, and on average, each of the supported organisations are receiving more money on average than in the previous round. In all, 128 companies will power Australia’s independent arts in essentially interconnected ways, drawing on one another’s energies and expertise with dedication and drive. There are also some dark outcomes here that can politely be described as ironies.’
- Carnage in the arts: experts respond to the Australia Council cuts in The Conversation.
- Daily Review asks if this is ‘The worst week ever in Australian Arts?’
- Eliza Sarlos – Arts workers should be angry about funding cuts – we can’t work harder for less.
- Michaela Boland in The Australian looks at some of the top-performing companies that lost their funding.
- NAVA has posted about their changed outlook after their funding was cut – it seems deeply cynical move to de-fund NAVA, who have been among the most vocal critics of the cuts to the arts.
- Jason Potts in The Conversation argues that all funding should be temporary, and organisation should not be relying on Government funding as an ongoing way to cover their costs.
- The Penrith Regional Gallery received a visit from the Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull, which was intended to show a “different side of Penrith”, but instead the owners of the gallery used the visit to criticise the government about cuts to arts funding.
In happier news late last week the Ukraine recovered paintings stolen from the Castelvecchio Museum in Verona in an armed raid last year. The 17 paintings were discovered wrapped in plastic and buried under leaves. The Arts Newspaper has a video of them being uncovered.
In less good news for Italy the Arts Newspaper reports that Sicily and Naples miss out on culture and tourism grants to protect its crumbling cultural heritage sites due to chronic mismanagement
The disturbing story of Melbourne artist Hamishi Farah being deported from New York, no reason has been given but by all accounts it looks like he was a target of racial profiling.
An interview with Helen Molesworth, chief curator at the Museum of Contemporary Art (MOCA), LosAngeles where she talks about the need to create value around women artists. “The only way you get diversity is to actually do it. That means that certain men don’t get shows. There are only X number of slots every year on the calendar and the number of artists always exceeds the number of slots. If you are going to be equitable, some of the dudes don’t get shows that year. That’s what’s hard about it. Most museums still maintain a commitment to an idea of the best, or quality, or genius. And I’m not saying I don’t agree with those as values. But I think those values have been created over hundreds of years to favour white men. One of the things you have to say as a curator is “We are not going to present the value that already exists; we are going to do the work to create value around these woman artists and artists of colour that would just come ‘naturally’ to the white male artist.”
Samstag Museum director Erica Green has been appointed as curator of the next Adelaide Biennial of Australian Art.
Shepparton Art Museum (SAM) has announced the seven shortlisted artists and arts collectives who will present an exhibition in the 2016 Indigenous Ceramic Art Award (ICAA).