Meanjin: Arts Policy column

Forgotten arts audiences?

June 2014
“Arts audiences have been a hot discussion topic across recent weeks—thanks to the release of the Australia Council’s The Arts in Daily Life: Australian Participation in the Arts, as well as some comments from the Minister. Audiences for the arts are growing and diversifying, and yet these strengths are not reflected in consistent, sustained, strategic commitments to the arts at the state and federal level…”
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#Budget2014 and the arts

May 2014
“Post-hashtag, the social media experience of budget night is usually a wonkfest of competitive detail, sparring over contested numbers and fine distinctions. On Tuesday night, what we saw instead was an outpouring of grief—and it’s only just started to slow down…”
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Arts policy: what is it good for?

April 2013
“Because the arts are about fostering rigour, making meaning, and imagining the new, the language of an arts policy is as critical as its instruments. What’s said, or what’s left unsaid, has enormous influence over the industry’s scope, reach and confidence—indeed, that’s the spirit in which it must be written…”
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Transfield and the ethics of arts-business partnerships

March 2014
“Right now, arts boards all around Australia are reflecting on the values, justifications and risks inherent in corporate partnerships—and corporate boards are doing the same. The decision of the Biennale of Sydney to end its relationship with Transfield has repercussions across the arts and across business—and also, importantly, across government policy that can encourage private sector support for the arts…”
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National cultural leadership: a response to Helen O’Neil’s ‘Changing the Nation’

December 2013
“While O’Neil argues for Creative Australia as a ‘turning point in how Australians use the arts to mould their personal and collective view of the world,’ the conditions of its development indicate otherwise. I see the strength of O’Neil’s paper as an instructive political account of that development, and in response, I want to look at three tensions in play in the piece…”
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Setting the stage

October 2013
“This blog is designed to engage those working in the arts and those inspired by the arts to discuss policy, and thereby contribute to its efficacy—and pull some levers of our own… Arts policy is no longer something from which governments shy away. A new government will understandably want to make its mark in this most crucial policy area, encompassing as it does the realms of possibility for the emergence of the new. If we wish to do more than simply imagine a confident, innovative, creative Australia, then we need to look towards our artists and the new spaces they make through their work. Policy seeks to comprehend art through advocacy, funding and regulation. Choose your favourite lever and let’s pose some new questions for our brave new times…”
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