Monday roundup ~ theatre notes

Monday, July 21, 2008

Monday roundup

A number of bits and pieces catch my eye this morning:

1. Arts Minister Peter Garrett has asked the Australia Council and Screen Australia to draft protocols to deal with the depiction of children in art. This forestalls what could possibly be more hardline measures direct from the PM's office, and would entail wide-ranging consultation with the arts community. Responses so far have been cautiously upbeat.

2. The Age reports that the long-mooted Melbourne "arts precinct" development is apparently being given the State Government nod, at a price reported to be $700 million and which may involve the creation of a new Music School by Melbourne University. A Good Thing, surely, unless the heavy investment in bricks and mortar means a concomitant governmental shyness about investment in art itself.

3. In the must-read of the day, our favourite rabbit Matthew Clayfield - now snaffled up by News Ltd as a journalism cadet - has found time to post a thoughtful overview of the work of Simon Stone and the Hayloft Project. (And in the process explains some hitherto puzzling comments on the Sydney season of Spring Awakening).


TimT said...

'Arts precinct development' sounds a bit suss to me. When I lived in Newcastle they were trying to get an arts precinct going there; it was never clear to me what they even meant by it. It seemed to involve moving the library from one building to another, moving the museum, and using one of the defunct inner-city Newcastle high-rises for artsy-administration type stuff. Apparently they're still in the process of doing all the moving and shifting, and inner-city Newcastle still remains desolate.

Of course, Melbourne City and the Victorian Government have much more resources at their disposal than the Newcastle City Council, but never underestimate the ability of Lynn 'Pubic Transport' Kosky to stuff things up.

Especially when it comes to an idea like 'arts precinct', which has the potential to be, at worst, a monumental failure, and at best, a meaningless act of political symbolism.

Alison Croggon said...

Yes, there's cause to be sceptical. given the Fed Square experience. On the other hand, a strip of cafes and gardens linking St Kilda Rd to ACCA/Chunky Move/Malthouse in Sturt St is an attractive and even practical idea.

The Myki debacle does of course signal worrying possibilities in the Transport/Arts portfolio. It's still deeply puzzling to me how it can have been so badly stuffed up, having just come back from London where the Oyster card has been working efficiently for years in an infinitely more complex urban transport system carrying 7 million people a day...