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 OAM is ArtsHub's National Performing Arts Editor; he also presents the weekly program SmartArts on Three Triple R FM. Richard is a life member of the Melbourne Queer Film Festival, a Melbourne Fringe Festival Living Legend, and was awarded the Sidney Myer Performing Arts Awards' Facilitator's Prize in 2020. In 2021 he received a Lifetime Achievement Award from the Green Room Awards Association. Most recently, Richard received a Medal of the Order of Australia (OAM) in June 2024. Follow him on Twitter: @richardthewatts