Alison Crogan, writing recently in The Monthly (‘The desertification of Australian culture‘) referred to a straw poll she conducted on Twitter on the current health of Australian arts and culture. She claims that the prevailing mood was summarised in a GIF of a burning dumpster.
Ever since the mid 1970s government support of the Arts has been in decline. Despite the huge contribution the Arts make to Australia (a contribution that goes far beyond the economic), successive governments have chipped away at the funding available to support the Arts community in Australia. This slow decline, however, became a full scale attack under the current government. In 2015 the government launched an extraordinary attack, slashing funding to the Australia Council and diverting funds to a Ministerial ‘Slush Fund’. May 2015 I wrote of the immediate impact this had on artists, writers and the communities and organisations which support them – Artists Left Hanging by Australia Council Decision.
The situation for writers is even more desperate. The amount of funding directed at writers, writers’ organisations and the journals and publishers that are essential to a vibrant literary environment represents a tiny fraction of the support offered to other artforms. Over the past six years we have seen support for publishers slashed and funding for critical journals withheld. It is not an understatement to say that the literary community, especially at the grassroots, is in crisis.
It is in this context that Rochford Street Review continues to publish as an independent on-line cultural journal. Over the past eight years we have published over 800 articles, reviews, poems and artworks and have attracted over 200,000 views from across the world. Our aim is to create a sustainable model which enables the Review to continue into the future and for us to be able pay our writers and contributors.
We are incredibly grateful to the support from individuals we have already received this year. The following people and organisations have allowed us to be in a position where we are currently loading Issue 27:
- Anna Couani
- Entirely Beautiful Books
- George McBain
- Ian Gibbins
- Janette Dadd
- John Jenkins
- Julie Manning
- Linda Adair
- Mark Roberts
- Michael Witts
- Willem Tibben
- Jennifer Woodhouse
- Malcolm St Hill
- Liana Christensen
- Gary De Piazzi
As we complete loading Issue 27 we are looking to see how much we can afford to pay our contributors. We try to pay at least a token amount but they deserve more. We also need to position the Review for Issue 28 and beyond. The end of the year brings web hosting and domain registration fees which always concentrates the mind on the viability of the project.
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