Money or Love? The Long Term Sustainability of the AusStage Database and University and Industry Collaboration

Julian Meyrick

Research output: Contribution to conferenceAbstractpeer-review


This paper discusses the nexus of university and industry collaborations around AusStage, Australia’s premier performing arts database, against the background issue of its long-term sustainability. Now eighteen years old, the database has developed a sophisticated network of partners in the higher education sector and outside it. This is reflected in both its routine operations, especially around data entry, and its revenue model. Currently in its sixth phase of Australian Research Council (ARC) funding, AusStage has long relied on government support for maintenance and growth. In 2016, a decision was made by its leadership to approach non-ARC sources of support, to put AusStage’s revenue stream on a broader and more sustainable base. In 2017, a Pledge Drive commenced, focused on Australian university libraries and the State government of South Australia.
To date, nearly A$100,000 has been raised, spread over the coming triennium. Of more interest, however, is the debate around the Pledge Drive to identify and communicate “the AusStage story”. What emerged from the sustainability process was not a brand but a commitment – to a national resource, freely available to all Australians, which imperfectly but uniquely captures a nation’s performing arts activities. The aim of the Pledge Drive was to raise money. An important result of it, however, was clarification of AusStage’s underlying core mission and values.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages1
Publication statusPublished - 2018
EventBeing Successful Together: 32nd SIBMAS Conference 2018 - Paris, France
Duration: 5 Jun 20188 Jun 2018
Conference number: 32nd


ConferenceBeing Successful Together
Abbreviated titleSIBMAS Paris 2018


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