How performing arts venues were affected by Australia's devastating floods

From, January 18, 2010

The Queensland Symphony Orchestra's offices and studio have been spared from the devastating flood waters that have affected much of eastern Australia. [But] QSO's performing home, the Queensland Performing Arts Centre, has not fared so well and they are currently closed. This has had some impact on performances involving the orchestra, but the Brisbane Powerhouse, where the first QSO concert of the year will be held on February 5, has been more fortunate and is fully operational.  Heeding advice from the Lord Mayor of Brisbane for functioning businesses to return to work to assist with economic recovery, QSO's chief executive officer Patrick Pickett has said the orchestra is back in business. "Our musicians and staff are saddened to hear of the loss of life and tragic effects of the flood waters.  We are also saddened to hear that the disaster has impacted on many of our partners.... Many others have had flood damage, including the Queensland Theatre Company and Opera Queensland, and we are thinking of them at this difficult time. Our commercial partners, such as Rydges South Bank, have also been affected, as well as the many small businesses in the area, so it will take some time for everything to be as it was."


Relocated artworks and artifacts were saved from Brisbane floodwaters

From the Australian Broadcasting Corporation website, January 14, 2011

Floodwaters have entered the lower levels of some of Brisbane's major cultural institutions, but have not damaged any of the artworks or artifacts in their collections.  The Queensland Art Gallery, Gallery of Modern Art, Queensland Museum, and the State Library remain closed to the public.  Power has been cut to each of the institutions, which are lined along the Brisbane River at South Bank -- the city's cultural precinct.  Photographs posted on Twitter show the boardwalks at GoMA and the State Library under water.  QAG and GoMA executive manager of marketing Celestine Doyle says the children's section and cafe at GoMA have been damaged by floodwaters.  Doyle estimates it may take several weeks before the two galleries, which have suspended exhibitions, including GoMA's blockbuster summer show Art In The 21st Century, can reopen.  [Last] Tuesday, staff at QAG and GoMA shifted their collections and valuable works on loan to upper levels in a bid to save them from the devastating floods.  "We're so relieved it didn't come into where we moved the artworks ... It was well worth the effort," Doyle said.


Multiple pop concerts organized to support Queensland flood relief

From the Phoenix New Times blog, January 14, 2011

Flooding in Queensland, Australia is bringing about plenty of benefit concerts, according to Spinner.  While artists like Keith Urban and Mos Def are shuffling around some tour dates to work around the flood, other artists and promoters are putting a more positive spin on the disaster by organizing benefit shows.  A charity concert called Sound Relief 2 is now in the works. Australian promoter Michael Gudinski is hoping that a handful of American artists whose are scheduled to play shows in Australia will still bring their tour there in the coming months. Such artists include Michael Buble, Kings of Leon, Usher, Katy Perry, and Rihanna.  The organizers of the Australian music festival Big Day Out have also announced that $20,000 of their profits will be donated to the Queensland Flood Relief.  Benefit concerts in Melbourne are also currently underway. A rap show and a DanceAid show are being organized.


Opera companies raise money for flood relief funds

From, January 19, 2010

Opera Australia [and] Sydney Opera House will present a fund-raising concert on February 6 to aid those affected by the recent floods.  Adrian Collette, Chief Executive of Opera Australia says, "We hope to be able to raise around $100,000."  Richard Evans, CEO of Sydney Opera House, added SOH audiences "have already donated almost $60,000 over the last five days through collections following performances across all our venues."


Musical theatre stars record charity single to raise relief funds

From the Harvest Rain Theatre Company's website, January 18, 2011

The musical theatre community of Queensland [will release] a version of the much loved anthem "Love You Queensland"on iTunes this Friday.  All proceeds will go to the Premier's Flood Relief Fund.  The recording was the brainchild of Tim O'Connor of Harvest Rain Theatre Company [Queensland's largest independent theatre company]: "As soon as the floods concerts started cropping up all over the country, but it was the emails I was getting from our colleagues in London and New York asking how they could help that sold me on the idea of releasing a charity single that people all over the world could buy to support the victims of the floods."  


Commentary: Artistic expression can play a role in the flood recovery

Fallon Hudson, writing in the Mackay Daily Mercury [Australia], January 18, 2011

As human beings we often ask how we can help.  And people in the Mackay region who have watched the great flood crisis unfold before their eyes are no exception.  As a result, Mackay's Regional Social Development Centre is supporting those who would like to help flood-stricken Queenslanders through volunteering and the arts.  Once the physical clean-up started, emotional healing [will] also need to begin. This [is] when the creative arts sector could provide support.  RSDC project worker Kym Spandley said there would be a need to capture and record the devastation in each of the communities affected by the floods.  "People will need to express themselves in ways that allow them to reflect on their own individual experience and in a range of creative formats. This could be music, photography, writing, printmaking, oral history interviews and, in some cases, theatre," she said.

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