MP PETER Garrett [shadow parliamentary secretary for the arts and former rock star, as the Age dubs him] has blasted federal politicians for constantly embracing sporting success while neglecting involvement with the arts and he lamented that there is no "theatre tragic" to match the Prime Minister as a "cricket tragic".
The arts have been caught in the culture wars crossfire and notions that they are elitist, Mr Garrett said yesterday in a speech. "One consequence of the attacks on 'cultural elites' from the right is that it has aroused latent hostility towards those who practise and enjoy the arts," he said.
He said today's "political philistines" were not necessarily implacable opponents of liberal arts — a coterie of right-wing commentators fulfilled that role. Rather they were indifferent, and refused to be arts advocates.
Mr Garrett speaking at Monash University, said there was a lurking suspicion in the minds of politicians that Paul Keating's demise "came about, in part, due to his role as the last national leader willing to champion the arts".
Federal funding for the arts "remains on a relatively static track" and many artists lived hand to mouth and were still seen in some quarters as lacking credibility because, it was asserted, "they don't have a 'real' job". Mr Garrett said that despite the problems the arts faced, Australia was on the cusp of a creative renaissance.
At which point, the article ends.
I hope he got to explain that Creative Renaissance, at least, to the room full of people listening to him.