Arts Community Responds to Threats to Cut the Sydney Biennale’s Government Funding

The Biennale of Sydney starts soon. Via Biennale of Sydney/Facebook.

The Australian Council for the Arts has been encouraged to pull the Biennale of Sydney‘s government funding after the fair severed ties with a controversial sponsor on political grounds. Now, Australia’s arts leaders are chiming in on the issue, with many opposed to the notion that funding ought to be accepted from any willing source.

The prevailing fear is that “if arts organizations have no agency to genuinely negotiate the terms of sponsorship, for fear of losing government funding, . . . [they] will potentially be placed in a position of being bought by the highest bidder.”

Some, however, see the other side, like Opera Australia’s artistic director Lyndon Terracini: “I find it very disappointing that a small number of artists would jeopardize the livelihood of many others and undermine the future of an event that’s meant so much to so many over the years. The minister is expressing the views that many in the arts community have already expressed privately.”

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