Comedians, dancers, actors, choirs and orchestras have helped keep Australians sane during the COVID-19 pandemic lockdown with a wealth of online artistry and diverting entertainment. For their efforts, the Morrison Government has thumbed its nose at Australia’s arts community in the 2020-2021 Federal Budget released on 6 October, after announcing a package of support in June that has yet to come to fruition for any arts organisation.
There was no mention in Treasurer Josh Frydenberg’s Budget speech of the arts or the creative industries, the term both sides of politics increasingly use to describe the arts, perhaps for fear of deeper engagement in some electoral quarters suspicious of the arts.
Despite tens of thousands of creative people being denied JobKeeper because of the tenuous nature of their freelance and casual employment, the peak government funding body, the Australia Council, got a net boost of $1.4 million for its 2020-21 budget, which will “barely even cover the rise in basic office expenses,” tweeted The AgeArts Editor Nick Miller.
Media Entertainment and Arts Alliance (MEAA) Chief Executive Paul Murphy said the arts had been “relegated to...