A great list of things to do in St Kilda delivered to you every Sunday evening

Pride Centre just weeks away, maybe?
St Kilda Film Festival online ’til Saturday
Shock over arts cuts by Council

This Week in St Kilda #267

Federal, State and Council Budget
winners and losers

Canberra cancels Balaclava Station parking promise
State pledges $2.8m for EcoCentre build
Council axes multi-year funding to six crucial arts organisations

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Pride Centre: Just weeks away, maybe?

There was just one question on everyone’s lips and hips as they paraded past the almost finished, much anticipated Pride Centre during the rescheduled Pride March:
When will the Pride Centre open?
An informed source, reluctant to be quoted, told TWiSK that the final touches were being made to get the all important Occupancy Certificate.
How long we asked: weeks, months, days?
The answer: “it’s not days and it’s more than a couple weeks.”
Fingers Xed.

St Kilda Film Festival @ online and at the Alex

Until Saturday 29 May
Catch loads of short films screened online throughout the Festival until Saturday 29 May, 7.30 pm.
Info and tix

Local story: The Art of Friendship @ St Kilda Film Festival
Online until 7.30 pm Saturday 29 May.
Nominee in the top 100 short films, local filmmaker Jen Hughes chronicles a 20 year friendship between Port Phillip and a traumatised East Timorese community.
Screens as part of the International Perspectives selection.

Bob Maza Retrospective @ Alex Theatre
St Kilda Film Festival: Saturday 29 May, 3 pm
Join Australian screen and stage artists Lisa and Rachael Maza as they pay tribute to the life and work of their late father, Bob Maza. $15

Local story: Mirka’s Palace of Dreams (Screening) @ Alex Theatre
St Kilda Film Festival: Saturday 29 May, 6.30 pm
In this magical documentary fantasy from 1986, much-loved French-Australian artist Mirka Mora (1928-2018), who had never before ventured into the wilderness nor slept in a tent, camps out in the winter snows of Kosciusko National Park with Tim McCartney Snape and Nepalese Sherpa Mingma! $15
Online tix only

Gasworks Circus Showdown @ Gasworks
Heats: Wednesday 26 May & Thursday 27 May @ 7.30pm
Finale: Saturday 29 May @ 7.30pm
Up close and personal with all the thrills. $40/$30
Tix and info

Fools + Ben Mastwyk and his Millions @ Memo
Thursday 27 May, 7 pm
A rare treat for us St Kilda South-siders – no need to catch the 96 for this big 13 piece RnR orchestra. $25/$20
YouTube samples
Fools | Ben Mastwyk and his millions

Backsliders @ Memo
Friday 28 May, 7.30 pm
Primo trio with celebrated slide guitarist and vocalist, Dom Turner, and drum and percussion virtuoso Rob Hirst joined by blues harmonica great, Ian Collard as they take you on an eclectic blues-music journey. Supported by Alison Ferrier. $55 / $35

Marooned @ The Alex
Friday 28 May, 7.30 pm
The highly acclaimed play returns to the Alex Theatre for one night only.
Described by the Sydney Moring Herald as a play about suicide that needs to be seen. See the SMH review $49/$35

Checkerboard Lounge @ George Lane
Friday 28 May, 6 pm – 11 pm
The brainchild of renowned singer and drummer Carl Pannuzzo, the band has evolved over thirty years; breathing fire, virtuosity and improvisation into classic soul and roots originals.

Scott Darlow & Chasing Ghosts @ Espy
Friday 28 May, 7.30 pm
Aboriginal led punk rock band Chasing Ghosts is teaming up with Yorta Yorta rocker Scott Darlow in a massive co-headline show, supported by special guest First Nations artist KIAH. $27.55
Espy gigs

Two classic road movies @ Astor
Friday 28 May, 7.30 pm
Twenty years separates these classic road flix.
Two-lane Blacktop is a 1971 classic, Wild at Heart (screened first) David Lynch’s 1990 travels a wilder road.

Apia Good Times 2020 @ Palais
Friday 28 May, 7.30 start
The 8th anniversary Apia Good Times Tour will be the biggest yet with performances from Brian Cadd, Deborah Conway, Joe Camilleri, John Paul Young, Kate Ceberano, Leo Sayer, Vika & Linda Bull and, making her Good Times debut, Ms. Wendy Matthews.

Three gigs with Bob Downe – Viva Bob Vegas @ Memo
Saturday 29 May 6 pm, Sunday 30 May 2 pm and 6 pm
Bob Downe comes to St Kilda with his live band and a brand new show, Viva Bob Vegas.
‘He’s Julia Morris meets Jamie Redfern! He’s Edna meets Bublé!’ $60 / $45

Radical Acts with The She Writes Collective @ Theatreworks
Saturday 29 May – Sunday 30 May, 10.30 pm & 2.30 pm
Radical Acts is a new two-week writing festival where resident She Writes playwrights overtake the Theatre Works grounds. Half-way through the festival, audiences are invited to attend a weekend of readings and listen to the writers in-conversation discussing their work and approaches.
Info and tix

Celebrate Botanic Gardens Day with Friends @ St Kilda Botanical Gardens
Sunday 30 May, 2 pm – 5 pm, guided walk 3 pm
Join other plant lovers at the Friends’ glasshouses for a grand pot sale or pot up your own miniature succulent (gold coin donation). Enjoy a guided walk of the gardens.
More info at Friends of the St Kilda Botanical Gardens

Rod Paine & The Fulltime Lovers @ George Lane
Sunday 30 May, 4 pm – 8 pm
Rod Paine & The Fulltime Lovers are a smokin’ 50’s inspired Blues Combo.
George Lane gigs

An evening with John Butler @ Palais
Sunday 30 May @ 8 pm
In this brand new live show, John will be sharing stories from the road and from his heart and playing songs from his vast catalogue.


New exhibits @ Linden
Exhibition runs until 22 August
Check out three new exhibitions (pictured in order above):
Vipoo Srivilasa > Wellness Deity
Natasha Bieniek > Halcyon
Ruth Höflich > To Feed Your Oracle.

Yellow Works by Prue Acton @ Brightspace
Until Saturday 12 June
Prue made her mark in the 1960s with bold prints and shockingly short miniskirts and introducing yellow to Australia’s Olympic uniforms.


Ride to Confined exhibition @ with PP BUG
Sunday 6 June, 9.30 am to noon
Join the local Bike Users Group for a ride to Glen Eira Town Hall to witness The Torch’s Confined exhibition of artwork by Indigenous women and men currently in or recently released from prison in Victoria. Free
Meet at Port Phillip Eco Centre, 55A Blessington Street.
Contact Liz 0421 236 895
Please book 

Transform an ugly dunny @ Cummings Reserve, West St Kilda
EOI close Friday 18 June
“Unique opportunity for a shithouse artiste!”
The West St Kilda Residents Association is looking for EOIs to create an original Urban Mural Art (Painting) on the external walls of the toilet block in Cummings Reserve, West St Kilda.
Call for artistsExpression of interest | Email wskrassociation@gmail.com Subject: EOI Urban Mural Art

La Fête de l’Alliance! @ St Kilda Town Hall

Monday 21 June 5.30 pm-8 pm
Celebrating the Alliance’s return to face-to-face teaching with a drink and light refreshments, plus a secret library, free language assessments and a performance by fabulous French band La Nuit Blanche (because Monday 21 June is also La Fête de la Musique in France!)
RSVP by 18 Jun 

Canberra cancels Balaclava Station parking promise

A $15m pledge to build extra car parking at Balaclava Station has been cancelled by Canberra. The pledge made before the last Federal election saw parking promises in a range of metro marginal seats – including our own Macnamara.
Meanwhile Council is proceeding with its own plan to build social housing on the proposed site next to the station.

State budgets $2.8m for EcoCentre build

Last week’s State budget included a $2.8m million contribution to redevelopment of the EcoCentre in the St Kilda Botanical Gardens. With Council already onboard to co-fund this $5.5M project, its anticipated that works will start later this year.
Mayor Louise Crawford said, “we are excited about the funding provided to design and build a new Port Phillip EcoCentre in St Kilda and our Council will also be making a significant contribution. We have collaborated closely with the EcoCentre on this job creating project, which will be a big win for our community and the environment.”
Built on the same footprint as the current EcoCentre, the new building will expand education programs and community spaces in a purpose built, super green building.

Council stops multi-year funding
for six crucial arts organisations

While it’s not foreshadowed in the Council’s budget or Council plan (currently out for community feedback), Council has ended multi-year funding to six major cultural organisations including Red Stitch, Rawcus, Theatre Works, Ballet Lab, The Torch, and Australian Tapestry Workshop. Each of these key arts organisations has received $30K per annum for three years.
News delivered by ‘zoom bomb’ surprise
Just last Tuesday, the heads of these organisations were invited to a zoom meeting with council officers – the purpose of the meeting was not made clear in advance.
At the meeting it was announced that multi-year funding was ending but the organisations were welcome to apply for a range of smaller project grants.
Feedback to TWiSK invariably included the words ‘shocked’, ‘surprised’ and ‘disappointed’
One organisation told TWiSK that there had been numerous conversations with arts officers over the past 18 months about renewal of the funding and a possible increase to $50K. “We’ve never been told that it was not an ongoing funding program,” she/he told TWiSK.
Another made it clear they didn’t expect continued funding to be automatic. “We assumed the need to apply again and be competitively assessed for the ongoing support, but we never imagined it was a once off program,” she/he told TWiSK.
In an email another org wrote: “It is disappointing, to say the least, that during a pandemic and with little notice, that Council have not continued triennial support for the Key Arts Organisation Program.”
TWiSK was also surprised
We had followed the Council budget closely and saw that $56k was to be cut from arts funding.
Ending this program itself would be a $180K saving each year.
We put the following questions to Council, and here are the Mayor’s answers in full.
Q: Where exactly was the ending of such a significant program indicated in the council budget or council plan?
Mayor’s answer: The Key Organisations Funding was a one-off three year competitive grant offered under the Creative and Prosperous City Strategy. It never had ongoing funding, which is why it is not indicated as a cut in the Budget. As comment is being sought on our draft Budget until 23 May, I encourage any organisations impacted to make submissions, including via our Have Your Say Page or by contacting Councillors.
(TWiSK helpful addition
Here’s an email link for all councillors simultaneously)
Q Why were these groups given less than 7 days’ notice before the close of community engagement?
Mayor’s answer: The groups always knew the three year term was coming to an end. At no stage had there been discussion of a further term. We acknowledge that many in our City, including those in the creative community, have been hard hit by the pandemic. This is why we allocated $1.7 million from the suspended 2021 St Kilda Festival to local economic and cultural initiatives. Council provided an additional $20,000 to each of these organisations last year in recognition of the hardship caused by COVID-19 and our Live Love Local Economic and Cultural recovery program includes a range of initiatives designed to support our cultural and business communities.
FYI read The Age Story (Saturday 22 May): ‘A nightmare’ for independent arts companies as council ends funding
Greg Day
Happy to chat anytime 0418 345 829
Content suggestions and community questions are always welcome.

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This Week in St Kilda respectfully acknowledges the Yaluk-ut Weelam Clan of the Boon Wurrung. We pay our respect to their Elders, past, present and emerging. We acknowledge and uphold their continuing relationship to this land.