Lifeline for arts

Fremantle arts organisations hammered by state government funding cuts and cost hikes are hoping a $100,000 lifesaver will keep their heads above water.

The council has established a new fund which it will dole out to organisations on a needs-basis.

The days of Freo being regarded as the City of Artists are a fond but distant memory, but the council is keen to keep in the place whatever culture remains.

This year FotoFreo and Deckchair Theatre both closed their doors, citing poor support from traditional funding bodies. Other groups are grimly hanging on—just.

The iconic Fly By Night Club on Parry Street could be next to fall, having lost its WA government funding and looking set to be stung with a massive rent hike by the National Trust.

“I hope the club can access the 100k to provide more youth events in the city and facilitate more community activity into the future our community,” general manager John Reid says, hopefully.

Jon Cope, the CEO of WA multicultural arts venue Kulcha, says the economic value of the arts cannot be underestimated, “so it’s very encouraging to see the city making this commitment and we look forward to working with the city to develop a stronger and engaging arts sector for our community”.

The Literature Centre marketing manager Nicole Clarke is hopeful of getting a look-in too, “given that we are the only literature centre of our kind in Australia”.

Dr Pettitt says the groups are under pressure because the Barnett government has walked away from its traditional funding responsibilities.

He says it shouldn’t be up to the council to step in, but he’s confident most locals would want the organisations to stay.

Council staffers will meet with the organisations to sort out various needs.

Council staffers would meet with arts heads to see how to best divvy up the money.


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