Thursday, December 16, 2010

And then there was one

Creative New Zealand is going through some important changes. As we have mentioned before, the cake will stay the same but more and thinner slices are needed to cover new ground. To do this CNZ renamed the programme Arts Leadership Investment and asked who wanted to play. Thirty-nine existing CNZ clients wanted to stay in that funding relationship with CNZ and so ‘expressed interest.’ We now learn that just 22 of the 39 got in under the bar.

And the winners are:

Performing Arts
7 x Theatre
4 x Music
3 x Dance
2 x Festivals
1 x Pacific
2 x Maori

Visual Arts
1 x Contemporary art (the Physics Room)
1 x Craft (Objectspace)

... plus the NZ Book Council in a world of its own

As so often happens in cases like this, an oh-my-god-you-were-just-so-close-to-winning list was also published. Those 10 organisations were asked to ‘provide further information before a decision is made on whether they will be confirmed’. That's the list that Auckland's Artspace is on. 

Organisations like Artspace and Downstage (another of the tentative ten) will have reports requested by CNZ going back for years filling CNZ's cupboards and filing cabinets. Being asked yet again for ‘further information’ must be pretty galling. What information could there possibly be about these long term clients that CNZ doesn't already know?

The fate of the ten limping impalas is likely to rest on CNZ's evaluation of public response - how many people really care one way or the other whether or not the axe falls? As far as we can see, the only thing that will save Artspace is enough people standing up and convincing CNZ that killing it would be more trouble than it’s worth.