We’ve been planning this since September last year and soon it will be a reality (COVID allowing – fingers-crossed). I was recently asked how I felt about the Festival. As a creative person, I see my task in life as making ideas into tangible events or objects. A story becomes the printed word, or a play; a deep emotional dive becomes a poem; I sometimes even try to re-vision the world through photos and painting.
Bringing together a festival feels different. It’s a collaboration with artists across many artforms to support their visions, their creativity. In some ways this is harder than creating myself, as I feel we must do everything we can to help them realise their shows.
But the best part of BRINK is that we know each and every one of the artists involved supports our vision: one where we imagine a future where the arts are funded ethically, one that respects and supports diverse communities and cultures, that puts the artist at the centre.
Now more than ever, BRINK is needed. Artists often have little to no choice about working for organisations funded by fossil fuel profits. To reject this as a source of income takes immense moral courage with the possible outcome of having to abandon the profession altogether.
BRINK can’t possibly provide all WA artists with the chance to perform. We can’t solve the problem, but we can attempt to highlight the issue and join in the conversation. Because we are not alone in thinking the arts are compromised. For many years, artists around the world have been questioning the corporate capture of the Arts by fossil fuel giants through sponsorship. If you think about it, it’s hard to say no to such a windfall when government support is so paltry. Compared to the billions of dollars in subsidies the fossil fuel giants receive from taxpayers for their multi-billion-dollar enterprises, the arts receive mere crumbs.
When you consider that the arts employ vastly more people than the fossil fuel industry, it begs the question ‘Why are our priorities for sharing the public purse so skewed?’
COVID shone a light on the essential nature of artistic and creative work through film, TV shows, books, music and left many longing for the shared experience of theatre, opera, dance and live music. And when it was revealed that thousands of artists had been left out of COVID relief funding, it showed how precarious our profession is.
Now, it could be argued that the sponsorship is what is enabling so many to be involved in the arts. Yes, of course, any money will increase the production and the reception of the arts. But we must think about where this extra money comes from and how it aligns with our values.
To support our fossil fuel free festival please DONATE to BRINK through the Australian Cultural Fund
or join us at our BRINK Festival Fundraiser on 21 March 2021
BRINK Festival 25-29 March in Fremantle WA