The Protagonists are a collective of inter-dependent artists and arts workers operating across and between disciplines, organising under the banner #artprotagonists. We have come together in the wake of recent Australia Council funding decisions affecting the independent arts sector as a result of a succession of cuts to their budget, and an atmosphere of hostility towards independent artists. We are taking this crisis as an opportunity to take action and fight for a future for artists and arts workers in this country.


The arts is composed of many sectors, and there are many platforms that are mobilising across the arts ecology, including #freethearts; ArtsPeak; NAVA; Theatre Network; and AMPAG. The Protagonists are joining this movement to amplify the voices of independent artists across multiple autonomous spaces and in connection with their communities.

We are not interested in being gatekeepers, but rather intend to catalyse stimulate and provoke more critical engagement from artists in how their worlds are organised. And maybe make some great art experiences along the way. We do not speak on anyone’s behalf, but create a space to amplify voices and generate friction and energy for artists to act.