In May 2015 the Federal Arts Minister, George Brandis, dropped a funding bombshell that divided the arts like nothing since the Fraser Government in the 1980s brought down ceiling funding on the recentlycreated State arts. Brandis’ action favoured the classic arts but threatened the country’s developmental arm, the ‘small to medium’ sector, and drove a wedge between the two which promised the death of innovation.
Journalist and social commentator Ben Eltham traces his coverage of these twelve months: the shocking impact, the actions taken; and asks: How have the arts become so marginalised? Is this the end of our most imaginative initiatives? Of the Australia Council itself? Eltham ruminates on intended and unintended consequences.
About the Author
Ben Eltham is contributing author to CPD’s recent publication More Than Luck: Ideas Australia needs now. His chapter jointly written with Marcus Westbury, Cultural policy in Australia argues that Australia’s fragmented cultural policy needs to move beyond its ‘funding paradigm’. Ben is a researcher, writer, journalist and creative producer. He trained to postgraduate level in neuroscience and philosophy at the University of Queensland before spending the next decade devoted to his love for culture and the arts. Ben has worked as a producer at a number of arts festivals including This Is Not Art, Straight Out of Brisbane (where he was the founding director), Melbourne Fringe, Brisbane Festival and Adelaide Fringe.
From 2001-2006 he was the Courier-Mail’s arts and theatre critic, from 2007-2010 he was NewMatilda.com’s National Affairs Correspondent and he continues to write regularly about Australian politics, culture and the arts for publications including the ABC’s The Drum/Unleashed, Crikey.com.au, Meanjin Quarterly, Overland, Inside Story, Artlink and Australian Book Review. He is currently completing his PhD at the University of Western Sydney’s Centre for Cultural Research.
Number Of Pages: 76
Published: 1st August 2016
Publisher: Currency House Inc
Country of Publication: AU
Dimensions (cm): 21.5 x 13.7