For those of you in Sydney last Friday who would

leave work,

brave the rain, and

face the potential scrutiny of the powers that be ….

you won’t necessarily need to browse through this quick summary of the NSW #freethearts protest. For those of us not in Sydney or not able to get there for other reasons (and were forced to dance via social media!) I thought a quick media wrap up of the Sydney event might be useful to help us with the ‘where to from here’?

Some of the 400 Sydney protestors dance in Hyde park; photo ​by Urban Theatre Projects

Please feel free to make your comments here on our site or get in touch with Theatre Network NSW directly at or simply share this with friends and colleagues.

Richard Watts for Arts Hub

In Sydney, despite inclement weather some 400 people turned out at the protest in Hyde Park with speakers including photographer and filmmaker William Yang and Fiona Winning, Head of Programming at Sydney Festival.

Yang described Senator Brandis’ new Programme for Excellence as a ‘Show Pony for the Arts’.

‘The worst aspect of Arts Minister Brandis’ scheme is the blatant political grab for control over the arts. The government will choose what will be excellent in the arts. We can be sure there will be no dissenting voices in their choice,’ Yang said.

Winning urged protesters to contact their local MP and express concern over the impact the cuts would have on the nation’s future.

‘The arts sector is an ecology. We are interdependent. And … we need as a sector, to work in solidarity to protect the research and development end of the practice – the most vulnerable part of our sector. Because these decisions will resonate into the future – for our organisations, our artists and our audiences,’ she said.

Read More

Eliza Berlage for Hijacked:

To those who fought long and hard for their self-determination as artists, we will keep up this strength for the future of our creative industries,” said Arts and Media Professor Liza Mare Syron.

Also in attendance were notable guests including City of Sydney Cultural Manager Rachel Healy, writer Van Badham and Greens Senator Lee Rihannon.

The Sydney rally and Hoofer dance was just one of many around the country, and a petition against the cuts, backed by the Media Entertainment Arts Alliance, continues to circulate online.

Read More plus great YouTube clip

If you are not one of the 9,000 plus signatories but would like to add to the weight of this petition please go to Australians for Artistic Freedom Petition

This article has more information on the Melbourne protest and dance action but a useful place to wrap up coverage for today…

SMH Article

And finally a huge congratulations to Rosie and all at Urban Theatre Projects for organising the action and thank you to all of those who have been and continue to be willing to speak eloquently and proudly about the short-term and long-term impacts of this change on the theatre ecology and its richness.

#freethearts #tnngetsloud #theatrensw


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