How funding woes inspired a new home for live art

Launceston’s Assembly 197 is a new approach to art-making that celebrates the spirit of community and collaboration.

The loss of operational funding can be a fatal blow for some arts organisations, but it can also be a catalyst for new beginnings.

Launched in 2022, Assembly 197 is a recent addition to the arts landscape of lutruwita/Tasmania. The Launceston-based home for live performance was formed in the wake of professional dance company Tasdance and Hobart’s Salamanca Arts Centre both losing their four-year Australia Council funding in 2020.

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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