How to strengthen a fragile arts ecology

In smaller cities, the departure of key individuals can send shock waves through the local sector, while the loss of young artists to interstate training institutions is a constant challenge.

Tracks Dance Company’s In Your Blood at Darwin Festival 2018. Photo credit: Duane Preston.

With a vibrant cultural mix, a tropical climate and a transient population, Darwin is unlike any other Australian capital. A city of some 140,000 people, it’s Australia’s least populated capital city. It’s also the only capital whose population declined in 2017-18.

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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