marcus westbury

my life. on the internets.

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What’s the difference between enabling and programming?

October 26th, 2013 34 Comments

  Following on from yesterday’s post where i boldly declared that “interaction with funding bodies¬†actively destroys enabling mechanisms” several people responded to what i thought was pretty much a throw away point. It was my quick and dirty way to frame the debate. They either asked about or noted that they’d appreciated the explicit distinction […]

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Enabling as Arts and cultural policy, the problems of prediction and a modest proposal

October 25th, 2013 66 Comments

I’ve spent the last couple of days at an Australian Academy of Science hosted event in Canberra where 50-odd very impressive thinkers, scientists, business leaders, former politicians, even military leaders and came together to basically talk about scenarios for the future. It was great and I learnt a lot. There were also a few arts […]

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What’s so special about Opera? [My Festival of Dangerous Ideas Speech]

October 6th, 2010 7 Comments

What follows is the text of the speech i gave at the Sydney Opera House’s Festival of Dangerous Ideas. This is pretty much a straight cut and paste of my speech notes so it may not read all that well on the screen to others and is inevitably full of typos, poor punctuation and general […]

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In Praise of Unpopular Culture

October 5th, 2010 9 Comments

Hand made Nick Cave, by Lucy of Newcastle. MEMO to anyone tempted to frame a cultural debate as a choice between “high art” and “popular culture”: don’t bother; you are missing the point. It’s not just that the terms are frustratingly polarising or that they frame the world as a simple hierarchy of quality based […]

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Australia Council arts breakdown

September 28th, 2010 11 Comments

Regular readers or those following the arts policy priority debates that have been happening around the traps will have noticed that the Australia Council has responded to my graph of their 09/10 grants by art form with one of their own that you can see above or read about on their site. As you would […]

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Time to think beyond the arts funding system

September 24th, 2010 2 Comments

Just catching up on some old updates around here. This one was in The Age before the election. NOT long ago, 15,000 people gathered in front of the Victorian Parliament to protest against an unpopular government decision. They chanted and marched, sported placards and listened to speeches. They weren’t protesting about refugees, climate change or […]

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Updates from the world of arts policy

September 23rd, 2010 6 Comments

I have been absolutely useless with keeping things up to date around here. I put it down to a combination of events at Renew Newcastle (where events in the city have forced us to bring forward a few medium term plans), the embryonic development of a Renew Australia (a national scheme to seed local “renew” […]

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Where Australia Council funding goes – 09/10 version

September 15th, 2010 38 Comments

This graph is a breakdown of Australia Council arts funding last year by artform. Despite recent scare campaigns that have suggested that Australia was somehow in the throes of doing away with the “heritage arts” in favour of “new media” there doesn’t appear to be much evidence of it in the numbers!¬† Right click “view […]

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Waiting for God knows what, why or how long

August 11th, 2010 4 Comments

THE news last month that Arts Victoria and the Victorian government was not getting around to notifying successful applicants for their 2010 arts grants in time for them to actually do their projects hit a raw nerve with me. It has an ominous ring for many who have schlepped around in the underfunded, under-appreciated bottom-feeding […]

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Originality? Now there’s a novel idea.

June 16th, 2010 1 Comment

TO ALL of you who have suddenly developed a concern for the lack of originality in art and culture: Thank you! I’m pleased, but frankly, I can’t say I entirely understand it. To be honest much of the reaction to the Sam Leach’s winning of the Wynne prize has flat out confused me. It’s not […]

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