Knowing when your art is successful

We have metrics to judge audience engagement and box office figures, but no formal process to gauge aesthetic success.
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Publicity image for She Said Theatre’s The Quiet Bite at Melbourne Fringe.

One man’s meat is another man’s poison, goes the old adage. Or to put it another way: one woman’s ballet is another woman’s punk-rock circus sideshow. Art speaks to all of us in different ways, and what moves some of us to tears of joy leaves others stifling yawns. In many ways, it’s this ineffable aspect of art that makes our work so engaging.

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Richard Watts is ArtsHub's National Performing Arts Editor; he also presents the weekly program SmartArts on community radio station Three Triple R FM, and serves as the Chair of La Mama Theatre's volunteer Committee of Management. Richard is a life member of the Melbourne Queer Film Festival, and was awarded the status of Melbourne Fringe Festival Living Legend in 2017. In 2019 he was awarded the Sidney Myer Performing Arts Awards' Facilitator's Prize. Most recently, Richard was presented with a Lifetime Achievement Award by the Green Room Awards Association in June 2021.

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