The headlines that made 2021

Need a recap on the year that was? Here’s a handy summary of 2021's major news stories to reflect upon over the break.

The New Year began with an unexpected change to the National Anthem, a move described as tokenistic by First Nations Australians, and was followed by the distribution of $1.4 million to First Nations arts organisations and artists via the Australia Council’s Cherish fund. 

January also saw $5 million donated to Sydney Festival by Peter Freedman AM, the largest philanthropic gift in the festival’s history; the latest cuts to JobKeeper caused widespread alarm sector-wide; and the Federal Government allocated over $9 million to four ‘systemically significant’ Australian arts organisations in the first tranche of its Arts Sustainability Fund.

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Richard Watts is ArtsHub's National Performing Arts Editor; he also presents the weekly program SmartArts on 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 Living Legend in 2017. In 2020 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. Follow him on Twitter: @richardthewatts