1,000 signatures reached
To: Josh Frydenberg: Treasury of the Australian Government
Take Care of The Performing Artists
Dear Josh Frydenberg and Tony Burke,
I am the artist known as Toni Childs. I am an Emmy Winner and three-time Grammy-nominated recording artist who makes Australia her home. I am writing to you on behalf of the countless Performing Artists, and Musicians who are falling through the cracks during this unprecedented virus outbreak!!
Last year, I toured 52 regional theatres over a three month period - raising money for my new music-driven theatre production called, It's All a Beautiful Noise that has been in development since 2014.
It is finally settling in that I’ve lost over a 100k of revenue I needed to produce my new show, as my 2020 17 date theatre tour was shut down after four shows. This is in addition to the 50k I paid out for advertising and band wages etc. This tour would have enabled us to finally going into rehearsals in Sept and Oct this year. I was finally seeing the finish line for my new show ‘Its All A Beautiful Noise’ and I was doing it without any grants - off my own back!
I am out of pocket big time, and I am now considering and waiting for threads of inspiration to show me how to make up the shortfall I will need to produce this show.
I know every human in Australia and on the planet is dealing with their version of hardship at this time. However, it is important to know performing artists are hit the worse.
I now have to make choices that may delay my production once again in order to pay my rent, etc. The fact is It took eight months to put my 17 date Retrospective tour together. I am an independent artist and last year was the first time I toured under my own company Big Mother Touring Company PTY LTD. Happily, my tour was a massive success. I learned so much and worked so hard.
So for me, as an independent artist, it would not be unexpected to have low days waiting for the winds of inspiration to take hold, and trust all will come right.
That said, I am finding it particularly challenging as people are constantly asking me and other artists to do things for free at this time. I think it is important to remember that performing artist are generally the first to rally for a worthy cause. I believe you will remember all the artists that came out to support the farmers and the people who were made homeless and the first responders who needed extra care during the fires earlier this year.
I am fortunate at this time, I can pay my bills and live my life without too much struggle. So, I am not writing this on my behalf, I am writing this on behalf of my fellow performing artists and musicians.
Please right now consider that every independent musician is hurting badly and rally for their worthy cause! They need and deserve your care!!
Please consider what it takes to be a performing artist building relationships and what it takes to book tours and performances one year to two years in advance. Performing artists and musicians don't work 9 to 5. They work 24/7 and they are the first to be asked to help if money needs to be raised!
If anything, ask an artist you know how they are doing, and how you can help them at this time. There so many musicians that are really needing financial support to make ends meet and put food on the table.
I am writing to ask you to extend your care, and honour the countless performing artists that are hurting... and yet, are right now going out of their way during this time to create positive heartfelt content for free to help keep the nation's chin up at this time.
We don't know when life will return to normal. I know for my self, if restrictions were lifted tomorrow, it would take up to 8 months before I could reschedule my tour. And I would struggle to find the cash reserves I would need to survive until then.
Because of this, I would like to propose that the Australian Treasury give a living wage to performing artists to create free streaming content. This would enable a performing artist to live without worry and continue to develop their content... and at the same time entertain the people of Australia at a time when they really need it!
I believe you may not have considered, just how much artists give to the Australian community and the world. Songwriters, Storytellers, and Musicians are the soul of the world and reflect back the joy and the heartache. We make life sweeter when mental health is waning. We give voice to what is hardest to put into words. We give people the opportunity to feel good when life is looking bleak!
I am so grateful I live in Australia. I could not have been more proud of how the Australian Governing Bodies 'Care' and worked together to take of its people during this time.
Peace, Love and Deep Gratitude,
Why is this important?
I am the artist known as Toni Childs. I am an Emmy Winner and three-time Grammy-nominated recording artist who lives in Australia. This is a shout out to all the performing artists and musicians affected by this lockdown. And... this is a shout out to all those who want to lend their voice in support of performing artists receiving financial support during this challenging time.
I was inspired to create this petition after watching the video below of Tony Burke asking Josh Frydenberg why a young part-time worker who works only one day week is entitled to JobKeeper, and performing artists are not. Ihttps://www.facebook.com/watch/?v=274953026862438
This is an opportunity to let the Australian Treasury know you need their support at this challenging time. Please sign and share this petition, and let's see if we can make some beautiful noise and get rent paid and food on the table.
As an Artist, I know it can be difficult to speak up for ourselves when we are in need. I know it is for me, and it has been something that I've had to get over. We tend to be givers and it can be difficult to ask for support. If there was ever a time, this is the time.
I love what we do! I love what you do and I love that what we do touches people in ways that it is impossible to put a value on.
Sign and share,
Peace, Love and Deep Gratitude,