What else could you get for the price of our state theatre company?

I made some points in a previous post that the funding going to major theatre companies would be better used elsewhere. Yep, a couple of people have called me on it, so here is a list I put together that shows you what the government could have got instead of the Queensland Theatre Company’s (QTC) 2012 season.

For these calculations I have used the government grant amount from QTC’s 2012 Annual Report and used organisations who received smaller organisational fund amount. I have not factored in other grant income that would put it up to $6.4m and would include other government contributions from regional funds and other government departments.

So for your/our $4.8m, QTC had an attendance of 110,000 (including school touring), 13 works produced and the equivalent of 9.4 full time artists employed.

So let’s compare this to some of the independent sector in Queensland. Here’s a cross section of other Queensland arts organisations:

  • Circa ($409,693)
  • Anywhere Theatre Festival ($70,000)
  • Just Us Theatre Ensemble (JUTE) in Cairns ($180,666)
  • Artslink Queensland ($207,766)
  • Flipside Circus ($70,000)
  • La Boite ($713,410)
  • Metro Arts ($287,981)
  • Brisbane Writers Festival ($301,879)
  • KickArts Contemporary Arts ($180,666)
  • Woodford Folk Festival ($135,500)

Combined, the above list delivers over 600,000 attendees, more than 161 works produced (including local works touring internationally) and most importantly, the equivalent of 145.3 full time artists employed.

The canny amongst you will note the funding for all those organisations doesn’t add up to $4.8m yet. In fact, nowhere near it – we’ve only got to the half way mark.

With the difference you could double the funding of all the organisations listed above or fund four more La Boîte Theatre Companies or 35 more Anywhere Theatre Festivals.

Or you could fund all the above organisations and match the amount the Victorian government gives to Melbourne Theatre Company on an annual basis. That’s the even scarier thought.

So, it’s great to have a “major state theatre company” in Queensland, but let’s not forget what we are missing out on because we are funding it instead of something else… or many other “something else’s”.

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