The past few months have not been the most uplifting for many Queenslanders. Writers have seen the Premier’s Literary Awards scrapped, public servants watch and wait to see where the axe will fall, and the LGBT community has been on the receiving end of an almost weekly ’f**k you!’ from the State Government.
What has been wonderful though is the response from many fellow Queenslanders (and friends interstate) who’ve been increasingly vocal both on social media and out on the streets. It’s had a little dash of punk spirit – with none of the anarchy.
The Queensland literary community was the first group hit post-election, but they quickly dusted themselves down and threw a polite middle finger up at the Government’s small-minded and short-sighted withdrawal of funding.
Remove public funding? Screw you. We’ll set up our own awards and take it direct to the public!
The newly formed Queensland Literary Awards (QLA) has launched a crowd-funding campaign to raise $20,000 to help with this year’s awards, hoping to convert the vocal public support into the financial kind. It’s a brave and bold idea to crowd-source funding for the arts. There are a lot of people who profess to be supporters of the arts but would think twice before opening their wallets for something like this. There are others still who dispute that the arts should receive public funds of any kind.
When the Government pulled funding for the old Premier’s Awards, I vented on Facebook that if the QLA needed any coin to get up and running then they could have mine. So I’ve chipped in some of my hard-earned and encourage anyone who loves the arts, and literature in particular, to throw a little something their way.
Pledge your support to the Queensland Literary Awards.
*I make no apologies for taking every opportunity I get to include a Nick Cave reference, no matter how tenuous the link.