marcus westbury

my life. on the internets.

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Elitism (or why art is a bit like tennis)

June 1st, 2011 18 Comments

IN POLITE company in arts circles these days, you do not mention the “e” word. No, not e-books or e-commerce or the other electronic innovations running a wrecking ball through Australia’s much loved big-box retailers. The uncomfortable e-word in the arts is “elite”. The arts are in a bind when it comes to elitism. Once […]

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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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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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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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Is the flagship arts company destined to be a relic of the 20th century?

July 28th, 2009 No Comments

Culture circa 1960 IS THE flagship arts company destined to be a relic of the 20th century? The 20th century was an era of “big local” culture. We used to have big local media, big local brands and even big local football competitions in each state and territory. Each major Australian city also built a […]

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A facebook Experiment

March 1st, 2009 7 Comments

I am conducting a little experiment over at Facebook. I’m trying to work out whether it is possible to somehow round up all those people who don’t quite fit the “Art” boxes and as a result never get a seat at the table. My theory is that a relatively small number of highly centralised and […]

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