April 1, 2011

Arts-Led Recovery Initiative

John Smythe      posted 31 Mar 2011, 11:13 PM / edited 31 Mar 2011, 11:19 PM

This is a stunning opportunity! It’s up to us to get cracking and lead the world – the way we Kiwis know we can!

[[The notice – Embargoed until midnight 31 March 2011] – [added later: sadly this was an April Fool gag.]


The government, through Treasury and the Ministry for Culture and Heritage, has contracted Theatreview to gather expressions of interest from those who believe they can contribute to an arts-led economic recovery.  This work will be funded at corporate consultant rates.

There is a growing understanding in Treasury and cabinet that many sectors of society and the economy that are ‘depressed’ or suffering ‘downturns’ can be stimulated to greater productivity through arts-led activities.

While the Rugby World Cup will undoubtedly stimulate some sectors of the economy, it could be detrimental to others. By contrast there are no losers with the arts: everyone is a winner. 

If you feel you have something to contribute to this exciting initiative, please lodge your expression of interest with john@theatreview.org.nz by noon on Friday, including your name, skills and a brief statement about what you have to offer.  

Open discussion is encouraged on the ‘Arts-Led Recovery Initiative’ forum.

Points to note:

    Not all economic value can be measured directly in dollars and cents. Mental and physical health and wellbeing, for example, has a fundamental social value that obviously impacts the economic vitality of communities. 

    Not all communities are geographically defined.  ‘Communities of common interest’ are also vital elements of a healthy and vital national economy.]

Michael Smythe                posted 1 Apr 2011, 09:26 AM

I’m in bro! And well done! I’d never have believed it of the governing incumbents but there you go – you have obviously done an exemplary job of convincing the powers that be that good circusses are worth good dough. My credentials and half-baked conceptions will be emailed in due course.

Greg Ellis              posted 1 Apr 2011, 11:21 AM

This is a fantastic opportunity for us as artists to get on the front foot.

We often spend our time waiting for things – to get funding, to get cast…

But through whatever bizarre confluence of timing, luck, John’s persistence, the right politicians in the right places and current economics we have a chance to make a real contribution.

Its put up or shut up time!

John Smythe      posted 1 Apr 2011, 12:00 PM / edited 13 Apr 2011, 09:15 AM

Oh what? I woke up at noon on April 1 and it was all a dream!

But what a dream. I share the views of all who responded ‘in good faith’ that it s a really good idea – but hey, Treasury? a National government? Arts practitioners paid the same as corporate consultants?

Thanks for playing. Maybe a seed has been sown …            

Greg Ellis              posted 1 Apr 2011, 12:04 PM

Punked by John Smythe!!!!

Ooooohh! Playing on my new-found earnestness and complete trust in you……..

I’m deeply hurt

I trusted both you and Ken ring

John Smythe      posted 1 Apr 2011, 12:12 PM

 Cue John Lennon’s Imagine … We did, and for a moment, believed.

Margaret Belich                posted 1 Apr 2011, 01:14 PM

Hahahaha. The terrible Twins at it again. I love this foolery and I’m imagining too.

Reminds me of how the arts community do ‘put up’ when things are tough – with speed, integrity, flexibility and most  vitally, while spreading a LOT of good cheer. See the postings on the Christchurch earthquake . The  great response of Christchurch arts  festival (cf. all those heartbroken Cant. rugby fans..)   I watched the crowds out for the music  – and for a sense of giving back – last Friday on Cuba, ‘Bare’ up in Auckland. Stunning. And all the other efforts ongoing. Inspiring.  community building is going on all over the country.  Oft channelled  through our artists and arts and cultural organisations. Listen up, Treasury, I’d say.

John Smythe      posted 1 Apr 2011, 01:53 PM

 For the record, 11 people emailed or phoned to register their interest, instantly ready to identify the issues, explore the possibilities and create solutions. Not bad for a Friday morning! 

Jamie Bull            posted 1 Apr 2011, 04:31 PM

 Finally late Friday afternoon I had a chance to address this.

Bravo John. Love it.

It’s a great concept though

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