'What Happened to the Locals?': National Cultural Policy and the Australian Suburb
- Publication Type:
- Locating Suburbia: memory, place, creativity, 2013, 1, pp. 155 - 175
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Artist Gary Makin questioned whether the cultural policy direction pursued by Campbelltown City Council through its award winning arts centre was actually delivering more for inner-city Sydney artists and audiences - the `Sydney arts scene - than the local community. He argued that the `neglect shown by the Campbelltown Arts Centre towards our local artists indicated that it was more concerned `in big noting with the Sydney mob.2 Supporters of the arts centre pointed to its recent achievement in gaining multi-art form status from the Australia Council, the Australian Governments arts funding agency. This status enabled greater access to federal government support while confirming Campbelltown Arts Centres position beyond a localised context to one that was part of the national cultural scene.3 Yet Campbelltowns Mayor in his defence of the arts centre iterated that its core role `should be [as] the creative hub for the local arts community.4 Thus on the one hand, the value and role of the centre in delivering cultural policy outcomes were predicated on its position within the national contemporary cultural sector, while on the other, its core function was articulated to be local cultural development. Could it be both?
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