Link: “Want to make art? You better be rich: how Australian culture locked out the working class”
There are cultural, financial and emotional gaps that exist between working-class creative people and the affluent, networked and mostly private school-educated gatekeepers of Australia’s arts and culture. There are extra hurdles faced by people of diverse gender, sexuality, ability and race, and by those living outside the major cities – leading to an entire creative culture that, to an outsider, looks largely monolithic: a lot of white, wealthy people who seem to already know each other.
Such an important (and true!) article. Another part (in addition to the quote above) that stood out to me was this about average wages earnt in the arts, showing just how likely you are to be able to make a living off them (particularly as a writer) if you do not come from a wealthy, well-connected, private school background:
In 2017, in the last major study done on the issue, the Australia Council found that artists made on average of $18,800 a year from their creative work. For writers it’s a lot lower, with nearly 50% earning less than $2,000 a year according to a survey run by the Australian Society of Authors in 2020.