ABC Podcast


Episode 6  – 13/03/2017

13 March 2017
Panellists: Mem Fox, Author; Martha Wainwright, Canadian Singer-Songwriter; Neil Armfield, Theatre and opera director; Ursula Yovich, Actress and cabaret singer; and Kim Williams, Author and former media executive.

Neil Armfield Co-director of the Adelaide Festival says the value of the arts is in purely economic terms is massive, filling the state coffers. The 2011 census tells us that 310 000 people have work in the arts nation wide.

Kim Williams states “The arts are absolutely at the heart land of a nations senseself confidence, a nations view of itself, a nations sense of its history as told through stories, music, through painting, through film and through television and of course through theatre.

And to in someway see this as being entirely about commerce reflects what I think is one of the most dangerous things in modern life, where we treat money as the measure of all things, rather than one of many measures.

Other things matter. Knowing one’s history matters. Knowing the nations sense of association with all of the rich diversity of people that repose here, and all the musics that those people comprise, matters. It is not capable of being reduced to some kind of financial argument. It is preposterous to treat everything as if in fact it is a reflection of some monetary transaction …

In relation to the argument that this should all be a sort of commercial destiny, I feel compelled to say ‘well why is that the case?’

Why is it the case where nations over time have invested very heavily, right back have invested very heavily in creative life, with a deliberate purpose to ensure that it is healthy and vigorous because they know it’s good for you. Why should that just be rejected and suddenly become part of a monetarist argument that has nothing at all to do with the underlying ecology of creative and intellectual life. These things are under constant attack….

These are things ineffably precious…..