Every day that passes - without some visible disruption to Arts Voice public juggernaut - consolidates the perception of this "spectacularly unrepresentative" group as The Legitimately 'elected' voice of artists in Canterbury. They are most decidedly not.
For example - principals of Arts Voice have just attempted what I see as a strategic end-run around the faculty of the School of Fine Arts (after the group was spurned as a late-in-the-day shotgun-marriage- suitor) by coming before the Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences at the University of Canterbury. AVC could be seen as running around town accumulating all manner of institutional imprimatur...wherever it can find it - under the guise of consultation and informational exchange.
I received a faculty-list email yesterday with an attachment purporting to be the Arts Voice submission (on the arts) to the Christchurch City Council. If anyone wants a peek at it they can email me for a copy.
Places like Melbourne have thriving art scenes (partly) because artists are at the grass-root heart of the demimonde there. Artists - rather than supplicants with begging bowls waiting in line before a table-full of bureaucrats for a begrudging hand-out - are the prime movers and shakers of a very vital arts eco-system.
Christchurch has always struck me as a top-down sort of place run by ladies and gentlemen who lunch.
Ideas that grow out of gracious living and leisurely lunches differ in flavor and quality from notions that arrive by necessity in the lofts and living rooms of artists. To put it bluntly our ideas and initiatives are better and cheaper to implement than the top-down, over-produced pie-in-the sky cultural utopias cooked up over fine dining.
Unless the young folk in CCH turn up soon at an Arts Voice gathering and ask the hard question - what, if anything, justifies the dramatic lack of artists on AV's committee....a committee that claims to advocate and speak for the arts in CCH - then the arts will be more moribund than they were before the earth moved.