How to thrive, not just survive, when your company is defunded

As arts organisations across the nation await news on the Australia Council's EOI process for four-year funding, one company reflects on how the loss of such funding ushered in a period of exciting growth.

A scene from Slingsby’s The Young King. Photo credit: Andy Rasheed, eyefood.

Andy Packer, Artistic Director of Slingsby, can vividly recall the day in May 2016 when he learned that the Adelaide-based theatre company had lost its Australia Council funding.

‘I can put myself back there in that little alleyway any time I want to, you know? I have a very strong memory of that phone call,’ he laughed.

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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