on the future of Imaginary Theatre
December 2 2016
We wish to advise our audiences, the arts community, and the broader public of changes currently taking place at Imaginary Theatre.
Imaginary Theatre finds itself operating in an increasingly difficult environment, and as such, a decision has been made to scale down the company whilst we leave time to re-assess it’s future and business model.
In 2015 and 2016, the company made two applications to state and federal government, making a strong case for investment in Imaginary, Queensland’s only dedicated arts organisation for children. Both of these applications failed to attract this crucial investment.
An application to the Australia Council for the Arts was discarded after a reallocation of arts funding by the federal government lead to the cancellation of the Australia Council’s 6 year funding program for organisations. An application to Arts Queensland’s 4 year program for leading arts organisations was deemed unsuccessful, citing that Imaginary had “shown limited demonstration of innovation in arts practice and delivery” and “shown limited demonstration of demand for our organisations products and services”. As a demonstration of the quality of our applications, Imaginary Theatre have chosen to make available to interested parties this copy of our 4 year strategic plan, which we hope will communicate to our peers and community the extraordinary work that the company has done to date, and what the Imaginary Theatre of the future could have achieved.
Whilst this outcome is hugely disappointing, we understand the impossible position arts funding bodies are put in when they are tasked with allocating thoroughly inadequate resources towards investment in the cultural lives of communities via the small and medium arts organisations who serve them with such dedication.
For a non-profit with a mission and ambition like Imaginary Theatre, ongoing growth without the support of strategic investment is unsustainable. Our core team, who have volunteered thousands of hours of their time to date, are no longer able to carry the weight of this growth, leading to the decision to scale down.
The company will continue to operate, but the extent of our programs will be significantly reduced. We will continue to roll out our current projects into 2017, including the popular ‘Powerkids: Little Artists at Play’ at Brisbane Powerhouse & our new work ‘보인다 I See You’, and new-media work in development 'Circle'.
We are extremely proud of the work that Imaginary Theatre has done over the past ten years. Thankyou to the tens of thousands of families who have engaged in our work, to the hundreds of artists we have collaborated with, and to our staff, volunteers and board members who have contributed to the extraordinary things we have achieved.
If you would like to contact Imaginary Theatre about this matter, please do so via firstname.lastname@example.org.