What is the Government doing to the Arts

Yet again the SA state government is messing with the arts. Most of you know that the Parks Community Centre has been under the threat of the bulldozer. Then the government stepped in with the promise to review the situation and appointed the Commissioner for Social Inclusion to consult with users and other interested parties. So after several months the team gathered information and now finally the results have been released. The key points are as follows:
• A section of the western part of the site would be re-zoned for housing
• The south western part of the site would be re-zoned for shops, a car park and the health centre.
• This requires the construction of some new buildings, the refurbishment of others and the demolition of the remaining.
Now the key is the word “demolition”, guess what gets demolished, the theatre and the arts and craft section go under the bulldozer.
The 36 page document is really a white wash for the Rann government. It is designed to make them look good but careful reading indicates a few nasty surprises. Again the arts will suffer. The Theatres and Arts complex will be bulldozed and replaced with houses and shops. Yet again the arts will be playing second fiddle to sports. Now the report does mention that maybe a theatre at a nearby school that is closing down could be taken over, and the management handed over to private enterprise. And ArtSA are the ones that will have to find this in their budget. This does not seem to be an equitable swap. On paper it might, but the Parks has 2 theatres, the school only one performance space. The Parks theatres maybe old, but they are well known and respected. Updating them would be all that is required to bring up to a very high standard. In recent years there has been more events happening in these venues due to the Out Of the Square program, which is a network of Adelaide suburban arts centre that package, programme and present arts and entertainment to metropolitan regions. Taking art to the people, and The Parks was one the foundation venues.
It seems that the vision for the arts has gone out of this state, and the concept of taking the arts to the people is slowly dying. This labour government is intent in destroying the arts industry which was the vision of politicians many decades ago. The vision has gone out of lights vision. We will become a city of half-baked ideas and sporting facilities. We have a Festival of Arts but the government is intent on closing venues. What sort of message is this sending to the arts community? Probably telling many to leave the state for somewhere else. Why is it that this government seem to find that the Arts are not important for the public’s welfare? Why is it that sport is all important? Maybe the Arts and the people that support the arts (audiences) need to become more vocal. They need to get together and raise awareness. Fight for our part of the funding that is out there, if we can afford to give $500 million to the AFL for Adelaide Oval redevelopment, surely the can afford a few million more for the performing arts.
So people let this government know how displeased you are. Vote them out of power.

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