We are Aussie Strength. The ultimate supplier for Commercial Gym Equipment that's built to deliver in the toughest environments. From USA-Built hardcore weight training equipment from Arsenal…read more
Government’s Catalyst arts fund makes allocations on eve of Federal budget
An Amy Winehouse exhibition and international tours by acclaimed Geelong art company Back to Back Theatre are among $10 million of arts projects to be supported by the Federal Government’s controversial Catalyst fund.
About 80 projects that will receive grants were announced without fanfare on the Federal Government’s arts website yesterday (2nd May). Some individual grants on the list had been announced previously.
Among the biggest grants is $800,000 for Back to Back Theatre, an ensemble company of actors with disabilities, who will use the funds for its international touring program over several years.
Others included Melbourne dance festival Dance Massive ($400,000), a Japanese tour of Indigenous art from the National Museum of Australia ($289,000), the Asia TOPA festival of Asia Pacific performing arts ($285,000) and an international production of work by South Australia's Australian Dance Theatre ($79,136).
However, other grants have raised questions, including $75,500 for the Jewish Museum of Australia to present the Winehouse exhibition from the United Kingdom and $1 million that will be spent buying, preserving and maintaining the family home of landscape painter Hans Heysen, who died in 1968.
The announcement of the grants on the eve of the 2016/17 Federal budget follow last year’s shock restructure of arts funding, in which $105 million over four years was cut from the Australia Council for the Arts in favour of a planned National Program for Excellence in the Arts allocated by the Federal Arts Minister.
While later cut back, with $8 million a year returned to the Australia Council (about a third of the funding lost), and renamed Catalyst, the principal of distribution of Government arts funding by Ministerial choice, rather than peer review, remains.
Commenting on the funding, Tamara Winikoff, co-convener of arts body ArtsPeak, said while Catalyst recognised many deserving projects, the funding restructure had undermined the “core production and distribution mechanism” of the arts sector.
The funding is also open to accusations of ‘pork-barrelling’ - the utilisation of Government funds for projects designed to please voters or legislators and/or win votes.
For Back to Back Theatre, the $800,000 will go towards international business development and touring their productions through Europe, the UK, North America and Asia from 2016 through to 2020.
Executive producer Alice Nash said the money provided certainty for its international projects after the company as a whole lost a "significant" proportion of its overall Australia Council funding last year.
Likewise, Dance Massive's $400,000 is a major boost after the biennial festival also lost its funding last year.
Announced in early April, Federal Arts Minister Mitch Fifield's announcement of $1 million for The Cedars, the Adelaide Hills home of Hans Heysen, has caused outrage.
Already operating as a private museum, the funding was announced in conjunction with local MP Jamie Briggs, who is likely to face a tough campaign in the upcoming Federal election.
Commenting on the funding, Naomi Edwards, Artistic Director of Adelaide’s Patch Theatre company, stated “I don’t believe it, how can you argue buying a building is funding the arts?”
State Theatre Company of South Australia Chief Executive Rob Brookman added “when we were told Catalyst funding might offset money lost by small to medium companies, we were sceptical and the announcements thus far suggest scepticism was in order.”
Meanwhile, Esther Anatolitis, Director of Regional Arts Victoria, ha stated that the Australia Council "is one major cut away from no longer being able to operate.”
Anatolitis told Fairfax Media that major cuts "would be disastrous for the nation's arts and culture".
Images: Back to Back Theatre (top) and The Cedars (below).
19th April 2016 - VICTORIAN GOVERNMENT ANNOUNCES $115 MILLION IN NEW ARTS FUNDING
10th March 2016 - ARTS LEADER LYNCH LABELS FEDERAL GOVERNMENT’S ARTS POLICY AS A DISGRACE
3rd December 2015 - SENATE INQUIRY SLAMS FEDERAL CHANGES TO ARTS FUNDING
26th November 2015 - AUSTRALIAN COUNCIL WELCOMES PART RETURN OF NPEA FUNDING
Asking a small favour
We hope that you value the news that we publish so while you're here can we ask for your support?
The news we publish at www.ausleisure.com.au is independent, credible (we hope) and free for you to access, with no pay walls and no annoying pop-up ads.
However, as an independent publisher, can we ask for you to support us by subscribing to the printed Australasian Leisure Management magazine - if you don't already do so.
Published bi-monthly since 1997, the printed Australasian Leisure Management differs from this website in that it publishes longer, in-depth and analytical features covering aquatics, attractions, entertainment, events, fitness, parks, recreation, sport, tourism and venues management.
Subscriptions cost just $90 a year.
Click here to subscribe.
The Complete Guide to Leisure Industry Products & Services.
SeatGeek is a search engine and mobile-focused ticket marketplace that allows fans to buy and sell tickets for live events. As of August 2018, SeatGeek has exited the Australian, New…read more
With its sleek good looks and easy-to-use yet powerful functionality, Envibe is the premium fitness club software for the Australasian leisure, recreation and fitness industry. We are the most…read more
Vticket Pty Ltd is the Australian and New Zealand distributor for Gateway Ticketing Systems Inc., the world leader in high-speed access control, admission control and ticketing software for the…read more
Sports Padding At Rae-Line we manufacture high quality sports padding, gym mats, foam mats and protective padding, suitable for a range of different facilities. Our sports padding is…read more
Vlocker Pty Ltd has been designing, manufacturing, installing and servicing locker systems worldwide since 1995. Vlocker specialises in providing locker solutions to suit client requirements in…read more
As of the 1st July 2018, Enta Australasia Pty Ltd/Best Union has been rebranded as VIVATICKET Pty Ltd. 19th July 2018 - ENTA AUSTRALASIA REBRANDS AS VIVATICKET 17th October 2016…read more
Goplay designs and manufactures specialised playground equipment for indoor play centres, hotels, food chains, clubs and resorts. If our years of experience and dedication have taught us one thing,…read more
get listed with our suppliers directory
Get your business noticed in our targeted directory. Viewed by 10,000 industry professionals per week!