The Canberra Times has a lengthy story on local “arts personality” Frank Madrid spitting the dummy and moving out of town because we have insufficiently showered him in money to do his own thing.
Personally I would dearly love to see more of the arts sector in Canberra being based on putting on events that customers want to pay for and less about squabbling over taxpayer funding.
There are groups creating large self sustaining events in Canberra (Corinbank, Foreshore, In Canberra Tonight, the Slam Poetry scene, Scissors Paper Pen, the Canberra Musicians Club spring to mind) but they’re busy actually doing while a self appointed clique of “arts personalities” swan about the local media scene hogging the limelight, hoovering up the spare cash, and doing little other than talk.
That’s not all Frank’s fault, he seems like a nice guy and we wish him well in Sydney. But for mine the last thing we need is a bigger non-productive arts aristocracy.
What we do need is more support and less red tape for those who are getting stuck in. (Which, for its faults, is something the Centenary does appear to have been trying to do)