Fund­ing cut a blow for writ­ers fes­ti­val

Mercury (Hobart) - - YOURTASMANIA - Viki Rut­ter South Ho­bart Peter Timms Bat­tery Point

ARTS Tas­ma­nia has sud­denly with­drawn all fund­ing from the Tas­ma­nian Writ­ers Cen­tre.

This is not the first time an es­tab­lished cul­tural or­gan­i­sa­tion in this state has been chopped off at the knees with­out warn­ing and with no op­por­tu­nity to ne­go­ti­ate. The de­ci­sion-mak­ing process is bru­tal.

The prob­a­ble clo­sure of the Writ­ers Cen­tre will mean that this year’s Tas­ma­nian Writ­ers and Read­ers Fes­ti­val will be the last. Writ­ers fes­ti­vals are among the very few pub­lic fo­rums for free and open dis­cus­sion of ideas.

More than 40 are held in three main­land states each year and they are grow­ing in num­ber and pop­u­lar­ity.

Is Tas­ma­nia too fi­nan­cially and cul­tur­ally im­pov­er­ished to sup­port even one? If, for what­ever rea­son, Arts Tas­ma­nia thinks the Writ­ers Cen­tre is not per­form­ing sat­is­fac­to­rily, then it needs to con­sult to en­sure a bet­ter out­come in­stead of just ca­su­ally killing it off.

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