Vallejo Gantner on being artistic director of the Onassis Foundation


It was mid-February in Athens and cold and sunny as we sat on the balcony of an apartment sipping cloudy ouzo and eating salty olives. Vallejo Gantner and I did this almost every afternoon to celebrate another day’s end of Athens Burns Bright; Creative Ecology Tour. “Mate, I signed the contract, it’s real, it’s happening,” Gantner said, breathing out a big

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Budget 2019: Infographic on arts input into Australia


Last night’s Federal Budget once again showed the LNP ’s adhoc and grudging tolerance of the arts. The organisation representing the major performing arts companies, AMPAG, is one of nine arts sector bodies that has created an infographic showing national participation in the arts and how its economic impact contributes $4.2 billion to Australia’s GDP. According to AMPAG (it represents the 28 major performing arts companies lucky

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Budget 2019: What is Australia’s Cultural Policy?


Last night’s federal budget documents offered stark insights into our nation’s culture by setting out Australia’s political priorities in financial terms. In the absence of a written policy, how do these political decisions reveal the unwritten values that frame our cultural life? asks arts industry advocate Esther Anatolitis. Surprisingly, identifying those values is much easier than

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Albums of the Decade No 2: 2011

Bon Iver
Music |

Bon iver – bon iver It seems almost impossible to mention Bon Iver without recounting the story behind his debut album, 2007’s For Emma, Forever Ago. Following the break-up of his band and long-term relationship, man retreats to the woods alone and writes and records an entire album alone. The mythology of the album almost seemed to

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Rebetiko Festival: nostalgia is not a dirty word

Music, News & Commentary |

Rebetien are four musicians (pictured above) from Athens who are headlining this year’s Melbourne Rebetiko Festival. I spoke to bouzouki player, vocalist and the group’s co-founder Fotis Vergopoulos as they were about to hop on a bus to Port Fairy Folk Festival and then fly to WOMAdelaide. Rebetiko began as the music of Greek refugees from the Asia Minor Catastrophe

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Amanda Palmer’s ‘There Will Be No Intermission’ album review

Music, Recorded, Reviews |

It has been seven years since the release of Amanda Palmer’s masterful Theatre is Evil album she recorded with the Grand Theft Orchestra. The wait for her third solo album There Will Be No Intermission is understandable given that she’s been busy been working with other artists, publishing a memoir and becoming a mother. Amanda Palmer came to the public’s attention as the

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