Mad month of May

Appropriately beginning with Labour Day, May started out as a month of work of various types. It was my great pleasure to contribute to the Elevate Project run by Lisa Wilson with support from MAD Dance House and Metro Arts. It reminded me of how much I love instructing / delivering content for emerging professional creatives transitioning into industry. A highlight evening out in May was the premier performance of Brodsky Quartet and Katie Noonan featuring ten new extraordinary works in “With Love and Fury,” a milestone in Aussie art, and a genuine pleasure.

With several grant applications to construct from first principles, and a few to just edit for folks, I had some very interesting research to do this month. I learnt a lot about Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community mental health strategies to help alleviate common stresses. The work of making grant applications often overshadows the results because they are released sometimes months and months after the submissions are made.

The results of the project funding rounds of the Federal Government’s controversial Catalyst program, the Australia Council’s project funding rounds, and Brisbane City Council Creative Sparks grants were all officially announced in the space of about a week. This was promptly followed by Aust Co 4-year organisational funding. It was a great deal to take in. I feel for those people who are directly, and eventually indirectly impacted by the cuts brought about by the smug manipulation of the Australia Council’s already stretched funding by the privileged Brandis/Fifield ‘leadership.’

The good news came in the form of support for a few of my clients in the project rounds. Ellen Belloo with “Hanako” and Margi Brown Ash with Ben Knapton for “The Belonging Trilogy” were both well supported, each with two grants to get them through their upcoming seasons at Brisbane Powerhouse. I have to say I’m also really happy for Fiona MacDonald and Thom Browning at Imaginary Theatre for their success. Women in Queensland theatre are hitting goals this year. Congratulations to dance artist Lisa Wilson too, for matching her state project grant with Aust Co funds for “Wireless.” I look forward to seeing all these projects as they come to fruition.

Mid May sees me catching up with arts workers and producers, and cramming in a few Aust Co applications well ahead of deadline, helping a few fabulous, deserving clients. I proceed to take a break at return in June, refreshed and energised.

In memory of an arts identity: I wish to pay my respects to David Page, who passed away in late April. Bangarra’s song man. He will be missed.



Quarterly Artisan market at Fox St Albion.


By Ann McLean

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