Quick notes ~ theatre notes

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Quick notes

Brett Dean, artistic director of the Australian National Academy of Music, passionately defends the academy in today's Age against the funding cuts that presently mean it will cease operations forthwith. He's backed by Richard Tognetti, head of the Australian Chamber Orchestra, who today condemned the cuts and called for Arts Minister and Chief Axe Peter Garrett to rethink the decision (Garrett says, in his usual decisive way, that "talks are continuing").

The ANAM receives $2.5 million a year, which trains 55 elite musicians on a model derived from the Australian Institute of Sport (and with, Dean notes with subdued irony, one fifteenth the AIS budget). According to Dean, this training stems the otherwise inevitable flow of ambitious Australian talent to the US and Europe. It's peanuts in the larger scheme - especially when you think of Scotch College's government grant of $4.3 million, which helped it to post a profit of $12.7 million last year. If only the ANAM owned a cricket pitch that a freeway authority needed to buy...

Meanwhile, let me point you to a fascinating post by Guardian critic Lyn Gardner, which discusses theatre created with young people - among other works, Tim Etchell's That Night Follows Day (seen here last week). It's prompted some deeply interesting responses from the theatre makers themselves that are well worth reading.


Anonymous said...

Thanks for signing the open letter to Skeletor re: the closing of ANAM.
Its good to see someone with standing in the community sticking their neck out.
I signed the petition and sent bonehead an email but doubt it will do much good.

Local pleb.

Alison Croggon said...

Well done, local pleb. I like that the ANAM isn't taking this lying down, and I am glad to see how they are aggressively gathering support.

On a personal note, thanks for thinking I have "standing" (though I'm an old hand at sticking out my neck) - after all, there are many names much more weighty than mine on the letter!