By Batool Al Sallakh
Produced for online by Emily Halverson
Performance artists in Australia have struggled with support and recognition, but some states have stepped up their support for the art scene in their cities.
While New South Wales and Victoria have introduced new proposals and projects, Queensland has already been investing in their arts.
Q Music executive Joel Edmonson says other states are only just catching on to Queensland’s initiatives and leaders need to connect with younger people.
‘I think an enormous amount is being done for artists in Queensland, so Arts Queensland doubled our funding for the next four years,” he said.
“But unfortunately we have a situation where most decisions are made by politicians and sometimes bureaucrats who are much older people who never go out and it’s not important to them personally.”
In Sydney, former Leichhardt mayor Darcy Byrne is working with the Sydney Fringe Festival to turn spaces currently reserved for retail and office blocks into live music venues.
theMusic’s digital editor Neil Griffith says the government should be helping Sydney artists.
“The more opportunities they get, the better, I think, [and] in any capacity, whether it’s an actual band room or even a café; a precinct itself… is going to be the best thing for them.”
He says strict regulations like the recent Lock Out Laws have really impacted the music scene.
“The fact is with fewer venues open and… for smaller hours as well, they’re struggling.”
Mr Griffith says it is necessary to support the creative sector.
“They’re scrapped for money and opportunities in general so I do think it’s important especially to the industry.”
The Victoria state government is providing grants for up to $25,000 to help live music venues with sound proofing.
This is part of their Good Music Neighbours program, which aims at keeping good relationships with music venues and their neighbours.
Music Victoria’s CEO Patrick Donovan says things such as soundproofing will help issues between venues and their neighbours.
“This is all about protecting the venues [and] giving the venues a bit of sound, but also trying to make sure we can include music in build environments; it shouldn’t be a war.”
Mr Donovan says there are sound financial reasons to support music and the arts
“We’ve got statistics to show it’s valued at over $1 billion to the economy each year and that’s just fantastic that we’ve got all of that support… to ensure that our venues can stay strong because that’s where most of the artists make their income.”