editorial rt91

White Board, Where is Independent Dance in Sydney? Symposium

White Board, Where is Independent Dance in Sydney? Symposium

White Board, Where is Independent Dance in Sydney? Symposium

The flotsam washed up on an Adelaide beach and collected by photographer Narelle Autio, as displayed on the cover of this edition of RealTime, becomes material for her faux taxonomical reverie on the peculiarly consoling if sometimes disturbing beauties of transience and decay (p54). There are times when artists themselves feel like detritus tossed about and discarded by economies in flux and the restructurings of funding bodies. In RealTime 90 we bewailed Arts NSW’s application of callous funding criteria and its abandonment of the independent dance sector [p22]. In a message to artists, performer Jeff Stein, disturbed by the millions spent by Events NSW on the first Vivid Festival while the small to medium arts sector languishes, aptly proposed a counter-festival titled Gloom. Stein regards it as hypocritical that “the NSW Government through Events NSW is celebrating how creative Sydney is at the same time, through Arts NSW, increasingly not supporting the arts, especially the small to medium sector, which is really struggling.” In this edition we focus on arts infrastructure issues in Sydney: the survival of the independent dance sector, the ennabling role of the Queen Street/FraserStudios spaces for artists [p21], and the visions of the directors of Performance Space and CarriageWorks [p19-20] so critical to many of Sydney’s innovative artists. The emergence of independent creative spaces like Red Rattler in the inner west [p27] and the growing strength of adventurous and supportive arts centres in Sydney’s west, provide new hope for artists. Marcus Westbury’s extensive Catalyst forum program at the MCA capitalises on a city brimming with invention. But unless basic issues of subsistence and survival for the small to medium arts sector are seriously and formally addressed by the NSW Government, the city’s under-funded innovators may well be washed up on the shore of lost hope.

RealTime issue #91 June-July 2009 pg. 1

© Keith Gallasch; for permission to reproduce apply to realtime@realtimearts.net

1 June 2009