Circus Arts Hub is the brainchild of Australia’s Antonella Casella, an original member of Rock n’ roll and Vulcana Women’s Circus, and current-day senior artistic director of Circus Oz. Like many of us, Casella has tried to make good use of the downtime during the pandemic by setting up new, creative ways for circus artists and producers to connect.
The Circus Arts Hub’s tagline is “Collaborate With the World’s Leading Circus Creators” and they work to facilitate that by offering resources, videos, consultations and panel discussions among industry professionals.
Responding to the unprecedented hardships that the environment (via wildfires) and the pandemic have created in Australia recently, Casella says, “At this difficult time, amidst COVID-19, the Australian funding body for the arts released a devastating set of funding round decisions. Many were questioning individual decisions, others the overall issue of years of decreasing funding. Leading Australian arts journalist, Ben Eltham, had this response in a recent article titled ‘We are witnessing a cultural bloodbath in Australia that has been years in the making’ in the Guardian (April 6,2020), ‘The answers are both complex, and simple. Historical precedent, conservative antipathy to arts funding, and enduring beliefs that artists are not really deserving and that culture is not a real industry all play a part.'”
Is this the Australian way? It is not inevitable. Many other cultures do value the arts.
In response, Casella asks, “Is this the Australian way? It is not inevitable. Many other cultures do value the arts. Why do we seem to struggle with this in Australia? Circus artists can be particularly vulnerable because we are already relative newcomers to arts funding. Our sector, filled with independent artists who make their living, and thrive, performing for small to medium, fiercely loyal, audiences across the country have been immediately and significantly impacted, and while we are a resilient sector, full of invention and currently embracing digital possibilities, it is heartbreaking to feel that we are not properly supported.”
Related content: The Australian Circus Influence via Antonella Casella of Circus Oz