The new model for Footscray’s Arts Festival (IMO)


It’s not great.

There’s less money. A lot less. The entire budget is about $170,000

The EOI calls for an immersive piece. With one of the shortest turnaround times I’ve ever seen.

They do ask for budget/fee to deliver. One star there.

They offer a total grant pool of $3000. That’s… nothing.

I’ve got no idea what sort of Artist or art they’re even targeting with this particular Festival model.

It’s not inclusive. You’d have to be a full time artist or collective to even consider applying, and/or have a suitable work on the boil already.There’s just not enough time to develop anything in that incredibly tight turnaround. Maybe I just work slowly but two months from development to delivery, plus accurately costing it, without a venue (there’s an EOI for venues to participate as well). I couldn’t do it because I have a job, so I have the money to make art. It cuts out emerging folk, all sorts of creative people.

There’s no transparency around selection processes and curation.

And I don’t want to burn any bridges but the agency selected to deliver the festival don’t seem to have enough experience in Arts Festivals. Fetstivals, events, PR, yes, tonnes of experience. Arts? Not so much. I don’t know how other creatives would feel, but having someone critique my work at a selection level, who isn’t an Arts professional is not something I would participate in.

I haven’t got a great liking for Footscray council – our rates are huge, apartments are going up everywhere, all the members and their families have their whole fists in real estate pies, they have even tried monitizing hard rubbish, our Mayors family have been associated with an illegal brothel, and she has never addressed that can of worms, a whole bunch of shite. But I moved here for a couple of reasons – the sense of community, and the arts scene. The arts are increasingly just viewed as a money spinner for the council, and the way this festival has been set up has locked me out. I rely on opportunities like this to get my work out there in the public, so I’m fairly cranky about this.

I will be interested to see how this pans out.


About victoria

Artist. Over sharer. Angry little ball of impotent rage. I'm 45, but I look 46, and feel 23.
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