Listen to The impact of COVID-19 on the arts sector41:0720 March 2020

On this week’s episode Richard explores the impact of COVID-19 on the arts sector.

Richard talks to Daniel Santangeli, Artistic Director & Co-CEO of Footscray Community Arts Centre which is a part of the Arts West Alliance. Footscray Community Arts Centre have shut their doors out of respect for the members of their community who are most at risk during this crisis, especially those with a disability and Indigenous Australians. However, they are keeping the space open just for artists with a disability. They are hoping to provide a place where there’s a reduced risk of infection for these practitioners to work. Footscray Community Arts Centre are also advocating for the government to provide an arts stimulus package, so the arts sector can do what it does best, “which is provide community connection through creativity”.

Next Richard talks to Esther Anatolitis from the National Association for the Visual Arts. Her organisation is keeping track of the disruption to the arts industry and is also lobbying the government for a stimulus package. She hopes that the Australian government will rediscover its role through its handling of the crisis.

Finally Richard talks with Amelia Wallen who is the Director of West Space. West Space have just moved to a new location in Collingwood. They were preparing to put on their first exhibition in their new gallery when they had to postpone due to the pandemic. They are currently working on ways to make the work accessible to the public through this crisis. Wallen says that the exhibition is timely in that it’s “looking at the different conditions under which artists produce work and this is a condition unlike no other.”

About this program

Visual art, theatre, film and literature. Segments include:

  • 'Art Attack' - fortnightly visual arts reviews with Ace Wagstaff and Tai Snaith.
  • 'Shoot the Messenger' - fortnightly theatre news & reviews with Fleur Kilpatrick.
  • 'Drawn Out' - monthly chat about comic books and graphic novels with Bernard Caleo.

Please email for all interview requests.


Richard Watts has many years experience working in the arts industry, including five years as the Artistic Director of the youth arts organisation Express Media, seven years on the Board of Melbourne Fringe (including three years as Chair), and six years on the Committee of Management at La Mama Theatre, where he currently serves as Chair. Richard has helped program a range of festivals including Next Wave, the National Young Writers' Festival, the Melbourne Queer Film Festival and the Emerging Writers' Festival (which he founded) and he has written for various broadsheets, journals, zines and magazines. Currently he pays the rent by working as the Performing Arts Editor at In his spare time he watches old Doctor Who episodes.

The podcast intro and outro theme is Soft Illusion and was generously provided by Andras.