Editor’s Note

Editor’s Note October 2016

“In 2016,” writes Alison Croggon in the new issue of the Monthly, “it became clear that Australian arts are facing the worst crisis since before the Australia Council was founded in 1967.”

For several years, the Monthly’s October issue has been a celebration of the arts in Australia. This time around, however, it seemed inappropriate to celebrate, considering what’s occurring in this sphere. Amid the seemingly concerted efforts by the Coalition government to neglect and undermine the arts and cultural sectors, even the great achievements in Australian arts this year have been tainted by the decimation of the community.

What is the responsibility of writers, artists and performers – not to mention arts companies, institutions and publishers – in these circumstances? It is to make facts plain. To point out that a thousand cuts to cultural bodies across the country will damage our society, and to point out that these cuts are already having an egregious effect. More importantly, it is to demonstrate the worth of art, criticism and enquiry. To this end, the October issue of the Monthly brings together some of Australia’s finest thinkers and writers to explore and dissect our own culture in 2016. The results, we hope, speak for themselves.

Nick Feik

Nick Feik is the editor of the Monthly.