Here then are 6 points, each of which follows on progressively from the previous one:
DIRECT SUPPORT FROM PRIVATE SECTOR FOR INDIVIDUAL ARTISTS?
If the individual artist were able to obtain a significant degree of direct support from the private sector (whether from individuals, groups or corporations) this would make him or her independent of the judgements of peer groups, of committees, or of management groups which run arts organisations.
NO NEED FOR FUNDING FROM FEDERAL OR STATE ART BODIES?
If the individual artist could benefit from direct private support, he or she would not have to make application for funding to federal or state art bodies, nor, in the case of writers and composers, would they have to depend on the capricious largesse of performance organisations.
NERVOUS ARTS BUREAUCRATS?
If this were the case, one might expect some nervousness on the part of the arts bureaucrats who run these bodies, because it could be seen as the thin edge of the wedge. If individual artists were funded by some regulated system that enabled direct support from the private sector, arts bureaucrats might well perceive a trend towards privatisation of the entire arts sector.
We'll discuss the implications of this possibility below. But at this stage, it's important to note that arts bureaucrats are paid quite high salaries, and, naturally, they will be concerned to defend the basis on which these salaries are paid. Therefore, although the welfare of artists is at the top of the agenda of, for example, the Australia Council, this does not necessarily mean that the Council would support a motherhood agenda such as the one being presented tonight. As we noted (in the Preamble ) they might be prepared to "discuss" it, but would they give actual support to have it implemented? Question mark.
However, at present, arts bureaucrats do not have to worry about a grass roots threat from artists, because in Australia today individual artists are not empowered by the system to go out and find their own patrons.
Did anyone know this? Does anyone doubt it? I'll repeat the statement: in Australia today individual artists are not empowered by the system to go out and find their own patrons.