Bringing a new lens to arts coverage on the ABC: Namila Benson talks Art Works

The host of ABC TV’s new weekly arts program promises to be much more than just a talking head.

According to the ABC Charter, one of the key functions of the Australian Broadcasting Corporation is ‘to encourage and promote the musical, dramatic and other performing arts in Australia.’

Despite this, dedicated arts coverage on the ABC has been relatively thin on the ground in recent years.

The ABC Arts Unit (responsible for the weekly magazine program Art Nation as well as Artscape, a series of half-hour documentaries, among other projects) was made redundant in 2011. It took until 2014 for a new ABC arts and entertainment program, The Mix, to take the place of Art Nation, only for The Mix to be axed earlier this year.

Unlock Padlock Icon

Unlock this content?

Access this content and more

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