In July 1982 Lowdown looked at NSW companies and the support the NSW government was giving to them. The Premier and Minister responsible for the arts, Neville Wran, was unavailable for an interview. Evan Williams, Director of the Division of Cultural Activities, was interviewed instead, in one of Lowdown's feistier interviews.
The sharp Lowdown criticism of NSW art policies, or the lack thereof, at the beginning of Evan Williams’ interview prompted an equally sharp response from Williams in the next issue. Williams later proved to be a strong advocate for youth performing arts both in NSW and federally, leading Lowdown to publish 1983 grant increases for NSW companies under the title ‘Keep It Up Evan!’ and a letter of praise of Williams from Ben Strout, Artistic Director of Theatre of the Deaf. Some of the increases to NSW companies were quite extraordinary, with Sidetrack Theatre, Theatre of the Deaf, Toe Truck Theatre and Theatre South at least doubling their State funding.
Considering the scrutiny that Lowdown brought to bear on the NSW Division of Cultural Activities throughout 1982, arguing that it needed to align its current arts funding with the stated policy objectives of the Premier and Minister for the Arts, Neville Wran, it seems reasonable to deduce that Lowdown may have played a part in these increases.
Read the NSW focus articles from 1982.
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