Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you will have noticed that there has been quite a ridiculous amount of rain and flooding in Queensland this past month.
But what affect has this had on the entertainment industry in Queensland?
Every production that was running at our main performing arts venue, QPAC has been shutdown and postponed – including the opening of WICKED! The water spread through our (ironically titled), ‘River City’ so quickly that even dressing rooms were left with costumes still in them as the flood waters lapped against stage door.
The other major theatre venue located right on the Brisbane river, THE POWERHOUSE also fought the threat of floods as the waters completely engulfed their first level restaurant!
Dance studios and companies are also suffering great losses – including the flooding of Brisbane’s loved tap and hip hop company, RAW DANCE. Their brand new studios were engulfed by the unforgiving muddy brown waters.
However, in what has been lost, something deeper has been gained. A sense of unity and protection has swelled up in the hearts of those in the arts industry here in Queensland. A strong feeling of compassion, generosity and genuine concern has flooded the core of who we are as artists and it is being expressed in great acts of kindness and support.
Two quick examples include;
1) the arts registry created specifically for aid to arts in Brisbane which exploded with thousands of registrations of people wanting to help out.
2) Musical theatre performers from all over Queensland got together to re-create the cheesy, ‘LOVE YOU QUEENSLAND’ song into a beautiful ballad. It’s like our version of ‘WE ARE THE WORLD’! The song is now available on itunes and all proceeds go directly towards the flood relief fund!
These are just a couple of the hundreds of examples of charity concerts, benefits, fundraisers and cleanups that are happening all of Queensland to keep the arts industry alive. It’s incredible to see such passion shining through the thick layers of devastation.
My only concern lies in the immediate financial future of this situation – Who is going to spend money on entertainment when they haven’t even got a bed to sleep in? The arts industry has survived economic downfalls and natural disasters before, so I can only pray that the bounce back is quick and efficient to prevent complete companies folding and being washed away.
I’m not saying to spend money on your own enjoyment when so many are without, I simply want to nudge you with a reminder of what the arts does for a community in times like this.
Once we have recovered (and we will) remember to support your local arts companies and dance studios.
Logging off.
Callum Mansfield