I wrote an original version of this post on Facebook, then decided it should live here instead. So I cut and pasted it.
Or at least, I cut it.
Oh the irony. Here’s version two.
So I’m pretty angry about the recent Australian federal budget. There are plenty of things to be angry about, but mostly I’m pissed about the slashes to arts funding. They’re big, they target independent artists and small to medium companies, and they have taken effect very quickly.
Independent artists get a tiny fraction of government spending – indeed, only a fraction of government arts spending – in order to pay not for salaries or comfortable lifestyles but breathing room. I’ve spend nearly my entire arts career struggling to balance the time my art needs with jobs that will pay me to get by; I only quit the “day jobs” when it became clear I couldn’t get anywhere without devoting all my time to those arts. Now that I am lucky enough to work on funded projects, it means I can get away with only doing three or four other things to get by with rent and bills, instead of the six or seven it used to take. That’s the difference low- and mid-level arts funding makes. Most of the money goes on the project – which means it doesn’t disappear, it flows on to businesses selling the materials and services we need to make our art.