marcus westbury

my life. on the internets.

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Australia Council should burn some midnight oil

March 22nd, 2010 6 Comments

There is something slightly disingenuous about the spin that came with the Australia Council’s More than Bums on Seats: Australian Participation in the Arts survey released last week. At the very least, it’s a double-edged sword. At the superficial headline level, the report shows that Australians love and value the arts. But dig a little […]

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Opera’s opportunity costs? (or sing fat lady! Sing!)

November 30th, 2009 9 Comments

LYNDON Terracini has been outspoken and surprisingly frank about the limitations of Australia’s major performing arts companies in recent weeks. The incoming Opera Australia artistic director has slammed Australia’s orchestras and opera companies as “conservative and predictable,” admitted that Melbourne has been poorly served by Opera Australia from Sydney and, most notably, has drawn attention […]

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Crowdsourcing a cultural policy?

November 23rd, 2009 3 Comments

National Museum of Australia WHAT HAPPENS when the Federal Government puts a call out to the public to make suggestions about a cultural policy? After a few hours of reviewing some of the submissions, it would be fair to say that the quality and usefulness of the submissions so far have been decidedly mixed. Despite […]

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A history of Australian arts policy

November 22nd, 2009 2 Comments

In response to some recent posts and articles of mine about arts funding and cultural policy,  Nick Herd from the Australia Council pointed me to this comprehensive history of arts policy in Australia prepared by the Parliamentary Library. It’s very useful background reading for anyone thinking of putting in a submission to the National Cultural […]

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A good time to be a creative geek in Australia

November 20th, 2009 No Comments

Now is a pretty good time for creative geeks in Australia, thanks to some major new initiatives by the Australia Council for the Arts and the State Library of Queensland. Read the rest at my ABC Arts Blog.

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Where Australia’s Arts funding goes

November 6th, 2009 21 Comments

There is now an updated 2009-10 version of this data here. I’m basically just posting this here so i can link to it from this discussion over at Larvatus Prodeo. But it’s a reminder though that I’m involved in many debates and discussions about arts funding and policy priorities in Australia at the moment (most […]

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The ABC and Ozco: Cultural change and how (not) to adapt to it

November 2nd, 2009 5 Comments

THE Australia Council and the ABC provide two radically different examples of how cultural agencies can deal or fail to deal with technological change. Where the ABC has spent the last decade experimenting, making and learning from mistakes and innovating with digital technology, the Australia Council has retreated further and further away from engagement in […]

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Evolution and Creation: Australia’s Funding Bodies (Meanjin Essay)

July 6th, 2009 4 Comments

I was commissioned by Meanjin late last year to write an essay about the role that funding bodies play in Australian culture.  It appears in the current edition of the magazine and is now available online. Meanjin is one of Australia’s oldest and most esteemed literary journals and one that is currently enjoying a renaissance […]

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