Welcome to my regular Friday song/tune day, ladies and gentlemen, where I pick a piece of music that reflects my mood or the times, to share with you.
There has been justifiable angst within the Australian arts industry about the economic impact of Covid-19 on the viability of arts businesses and their employees. The Australian arts sector employs 600,000 people and generates over $100 billion in economic activity in its own right, as well as being a significant generator of economic activity in other sectors such as hospitality and tourism. Let’s face it, it’s a tough gig “working” in the arts sector, with work and income fluctuating depending on a whole range of factors.
In the midst of this unprecedented health and economic crisis, you would think that the Australian government could be creative enough to ensure that those in the arts sector could reasonably access the new business, income and welfare support measures that it recently announced in response to the crisis. However, eligibility criteria appear expressly designed to exclude arts businesses and workers. We often hear from politicians about the need for Australian industry to be innovative and nimble. There can’t be a sector more nimble and innovative than the Australian arts sector. It is almost as if the government doesn’t consider arts jobs real work. Surely that couldn’t be right? What do you think?
(Not an Australian band but Dire Straits makes the same point about those perceptions of real work.)
Aussies, please help the Australian arts industry snap back. For example, you can buy artist merch, music, artwork; enrol in online courses; buy a book; and/or donate to related public appeals. Support Act is running an appeal on behalf of the Australian music industry. See here for details of that appeal.
Take care of yourself and others, everyone.
Feature photo – Joseph and James Tawadros