16 August 2013

A panel of prominent arts industry representatives will discuss the value of the arts as part of the Brisbane Writers Festival next month.

Hosted by The University of Queensland’s Faculty of Arts as part of the UQ Global Leadership Series, the event on Friday 6 September will discuss how value is constructed in the arts and humanities, and what the future holds for funding and policy-making.

ABC Radio National’s Sarah Kanowski will moderate the discussion. The panel will comprise Stephen Armstrong (Arts Centre, Melbourne), Dr Stuart Glover (UQ), and Katrina Strickland (Australian Financial Review).

The discussion follows last week’s announcement of a national study examining the health and future capacity of the Australian humanities and social sciences and the current consultation of the Arts for all Queenslanders Strategy.

Brisbane Writers Festival Director and Chief Executive Officer Kate Eltham welcomed the event to the festival program.

“The University of Queensland is a long-standing BWF partner, and this panel discussion emphasises the ongoing struggle that arts organisations have in justifying the value they create,” she said.

Dr Stuart Glover has devoted his career to shaping Queensland’s cultural policy, having led state-wide cultural policy frameworks and planning work for the State Library, University of Queensland Press and the Queensland University of Technology Creative Industries Precinct.

“We are living in a knowledge economy and yet the value placed on thinking, innovation and creativity in the arts and humanities is constantly overshadowed by other sectors,” Dr Glover said.

“Everyone believes arts culture and the discussion of values is vital to the health of the community, yet arts funding has almost become a dirty word that nobody wants to talk about.

“This discussion aims to get the community talking again about the different way we value and support the arts and humanities, whether that be through the private arts market and its mercurial shifts in market prices, through arts funding and philanthropy, or through public funding for tertiary education programs in the humanities and the liberal arts.

“Sometimes, if for example we look at market prices for leading artists, we clearly over-price the arts.

“Is Damian Hirst’s Golden Calf really worth $15 million?

“But elsewhere we fight over the pennies spent on emerging artists and writers and on humanities that help us develop true expertise in the broader community about questions of human value.”


WHAT: The Value of Funding the Arts
Panel discussion, followed by Q&A and networking reception

WHEN: Friday 6 September, 6-8pm

WHERE: Auditorium 1
Level 2, State Library of Queensland
Stanley Place
South Brisbane

BOOKINGS: Tickets are $25 and available from www.bwf.org.au

Media: Lisa Summer-Hayes 3365 2632 or l.summerhayes@uq.edu.au

Speaker bios

Stephen Armstrong | Arts Centre, Melbourne
Stephen is the Creative Producer of Art Centre Melbourne’s Asian Performing Arts Program. As a producer and programmer, Stephen has held executive positions with Malthouse Theatre, Sydney Theatre Company and Queensland Theatre Company. As an arts commentator, he appeared regularly on ABC TV’s Critical Mass program. For the Australia Council, Stephen has Chaired the Theatre Board and the New Media Arts Board. In 2012-13, Stephen was Program Manager for The Myer Foundation, co-produced the feature film, The Boy Castaways, and curated a series of Secular Sermons for Alain de Botton’s School of Life project. He majored in the History & Philosophy of Science at Melbourne University and completed the Executive Program for Non-Profit Leaders at Stanford University’s Graduate School of Business.

Katrina Strickland |The Australian Financial Review
Katrina Strickland is deputy editor of the Australian Financial Review Magazine. She has been writing about the arts for more than 15 years, for six as arts editor of the Australian Financial Review. Prior to that she worked at The Australian for 11 years, including as arts editor. She was joint winner of the 2010 Trawalla Foundation Arts Journalism Scholarship and is a World Press Institute fellow.

Dr Stuart Glover | Faculty of Arts, The University of Queensland
Dr Stuart Glover Lectures in Creative Writing in the School of English, Media Studies and Art History at UQ. He is co-editor of Hot Iron Corrugated Sky: 100 Years of Queensland Writing and several anthologies of student writing. He was the founding Director of the Brisbane Writers Festival, the first Manager for Writing at Arts Queensland, founding Director of QPIX (the Queensland screen development centre), founding Chair of Multi-Media Art Asia-Pacific, Chair of Q Music, Board member and Acting Chair of the Queensland Theatre Company, Deputy Chair of the Queensland Writers Centre, and Acting Chair and a member of the Literature Board of the Australia Council. He has written for McSweeney’s, Radio National, Griffith Review, The Lifted Brow and Island magazine. He is the founding Chair of the renegade Queensland Literary Awards Inc that were established following the demise of the Premier’s awards in 2012. And he is the publisher of Bumf, a literary website specialising in pleasingly short works.

Sarah Kanowski | ABC Radio National
Sarah Kanowski is the presenter of Weekend Arts on ABC Radio National. She has also studied English at Oxford University, edited Island magazine in Tasmania and herded goats in Chile. Her first degree was a Bachelor of Arts with Hons in English from the University of Queensland.