Is your organisation past its use-by date?

Closing your doors doesn't equal failure. Some arts organisations have a natural lifespan and permanence just makes the work moribund. But few contemporary arts manager dare ask: Is what we are doing still relevant?
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Image: ‘Phases of the rotting yellow apple’ by Marcell Mizik via Shutterstock 

The notion of planned obsolescence is common in industrial design and manufacturing; not so in the arts, where few organisations ever consider that they and their work might have a use-by date.

Brett Sheehy, the current Artistic Director of Melbourne Theatre Company and former Artistic Director of Melbourne, Adelaide and Sydney Festivals, says the issue has not once been raised at any of the organisations he has worked for.

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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