The 2012 Adelaide Critics Circle awards ceremony was not just a celebration of the outstanding work which took place in 2012, but also a forum at which the Circle chose to announce a significant public statement about the state of the arts in Australia today.
Veteran Adelaide critic and founding chair of the Circle, Samela Harris, read out the statement about the “Critical Condition” of the state of criticism today, noting that arts reviewing, a vital aspect of traditional arts coverage is dwindling alarmingly in the shrinking pages of today's print media. Some of the points of concern included:
* Fewer reviews are appearing.
* This is an issue for potential audiences in selecting arts experiences.
* This is an issue for companies having their achievements acknowledged.
* This is an issue for governments in assessing the value of their arts grants.
* This is an issue for taxpayers, since arts budgets are paid from the public purse.
* This is an issue for sponsors and advertisers, who expect returns on their investment.
* This is an issue for critics in employment and also for academics and students in arts analysis and understanding.
* This is an issue for the cultural history of our country.
* The record is not being kept.
Samela encouraged those present to sign in agreement with the statement, in order that public support could be established to curb the increasing decline in arts criticism.