What Brisbane needs right now is more art


What Brisbane needs right now is more art

Throughout Australia, it's unusual for a week to go by without hearing about yet another music venue, theatre or festival closing down. Brisbane is a growing city, with a growing population and growing cost of living pressures. A city without art would be a city too cruel to exist in. We need more art. 

More art.
More artists.
More storytellers. 

Art challenges our perceptions and heals our wounds, reminds us of our shared humanity and inspires hope.

Artists paint a picture of how the world could be and in doing so offer a glimpse of beauty, truth and emotion that transcends the mundane everyday experience. An invaluable contribution to society, and yet the fight for funding is often lost; meaning artists bare their soul for the most basic wage. 

It is this deep belief in the need for art that unites and empowers a diverse group of people across Brisbane and beyond. Brisbane Festival donors. Brisbane Festival is the city’s largest arts festival supporting the works of over 2,200 Queensland artists and connecting their work to an audience of 1.7 million. 

#"Festival donors make it happen,"

Fabienne Cooke, Brisbane Festival’s Head of Philanthropy explains “It’s true! The community of donors who support the Giving Program are the backbone of Brisbane Festival. Without the incredible level of investment they provide, the scale and ambition of artistic vision simply would not be possible.” Without their support we would simply not be able to experience the full depth and breadth of programming that Brisbane Festival provides.

The jewel of Season 2023, Salamander was an incredible project that saw Maxine Doyle and Es Devlin, two international arts visionaries, work with local artists Australasian Dance Collective. This local global production was supported through the Giving Program by Tim & Gina Fairfax AC, Carolyn Vincent – The Ubuntu Foundation, and Cass & Ian George.

Cover image: In a festival first, Nieergoo – Spirit of the Whale saw 400 drones light up the skies to animate the dresmtime Yuggera and Toorbul story. Another example of a visionary event supported through the Giving Program by Philip Bacon AO.

#Donations of any size count, and those received before the end of May will be matched, dollar for dollar, by the Giving Committee.

The Giving Committee is a formidable group of nine dedicated Arts advocates; spearheaded by Chair, Justice Thomas Bradley, and Deputy, Courtney Talbot. Committee Members inspire others to give through their advocacy and support for Brisbane Festival.  

Justice Bradley is passionate about the impact of the Arts on all those in the community. “Recent events have made us acutely aware of the importance of social cohesion, and its impact on our emotional security, the lifestyle we enjoy, and our future prosperity in this special part of the world. Public performance of creative work invites us to see our world through other eyes, to understand experiences of others, to feel their emotions, and even re-imagine ourselves. These opportunities encourage us to be more thoughtful, humane, and practical. By small and large steps, they help build a more confident, creative, and inclusive community. They have the potential to brighten lives, encourage responsibility, build commitment, fortify families, and strengthen our nation.” 

“To see a show come to life and see the enjoyment it brings so many people in the community, you can’t help but want to do more and more every year.” Courtney Talbot, Giving Committee Deputy Chair  

“I believe so emphatically in the value of the Arts. It allows the artistic direction to be much bolder, to put on great shows which would otherwise be unaffordable,” adds Philip Bacon AO, Board Deputy Chair and Giving Committee Member. 

“I really feel I am fulfilling a lot of my goals philanthropically by supporting the Arts and seeing Brisbane evolve as a city,” adds Virgina Bishop, Donor. 

Join the Giving Program by making your own contribution – all donations from $2 are tax deductible. And any donation received before the end of May 2024 will be dollar matched by our Giving Committee as part of our EoFY campaign. To find out more about the Giving Program, contact Head of Philanthropy, Fabienne Cooke, via philanthropy@brisbanefestival.com.au

#Looking forward

In 2024, a new group of emerging philanthropic leaders has formed. Brisbane Festival is delighted to welcome the Next Gen Giving Committee, who will experience the powerful impact of philanthropy on artists and community. Chair Ashleigh Mansfield and Deputy Jack Gallagher will shadow the Giving Committee to see firsthand the powerful impact of philanthropy on the Arts and learn how to best engage young donors, together with fellow Next Gen ambassadors Alissa Bermingham, Bianca Wylie, Tom Peabody, and Phoebe Zavros.  

The future of Brisbane Festival rests on the steadfast support of both seasoned and emerging philanthropic leaders. Their commitment ensures that the Arts continue to enrich our community and sustain a dynamic cultural landscape. This support fuels a festival that upholds creativity and reinforces the fabric of our society, maintaining Brisbane's place on the global cultural stage. 

Brisbane Festival expresses deep respect to and acknowledges the First People of this Country.