Like a number of arts organisations across Australia, The Blue Room Theatre learnt on Friday that their application to the Australia Council for four year funding from 2021 – 2024 was not successful. This is a major blow for the organisation and independent artists in Western Australia.
The Blue Room Theatre has been supported through multi-year funding from the Australia Council for over 20 years. Over that time, they have consistently over-delivered on its projected outcomes, maintained exemplary governance and robust finances. Each year their programs support over 400 artists, play to over 20,000 attendees and provide accessible new Western Australian theatre 38 weeks per year.
“The overall results of the four-year funding round announced on Friday represent the savaging of the small to medium arts sector in Australia,” said The Blue Room Theatre Chair, Shane Colquhoun. “It is a direct consequence of the Federal Government’s decisions regarding funding to the Australia Council since it came to power in 2013. This is a senseless hobbling of a productive and vital industry.”
“It is a signal to artists and arts workers that their work is not valued in Australian society. At this challenging time, where people are turning to the arts for comfort, joy, inspiration, solace and connection, the lack of support for the live arts sector seems even more short sighted. The Blue Room Theatre will survive this distressing blow.”
“We have a strong and resilient community who have banded together over 30 years to make the organisation what it is. However, it will require us to re-strategise our programs beyond 2020 and that will take some time and consultation with our members and local industry.”
“We will carry this out in a methodical way to ensure a sustainable future working in partnership with Western Australian artists to make an indispensable contribution to Australian theatre,” said Mr Colquhoun.
For more information about The Blue Room Theatre, visit: www.blueroom.org.au for details.
Image: The Blue Room Theatre – photo by Rebecca Mansell