Open Navigation

So long Smiths’

March 21, 2015

We were very sad to hear that Smiths’ Alternative will be closing its doors tonight, due to financial concerns.

Smiths’ has been the scene of many an amazing You Are Here event over the past five years – from our program launches to our theatre program, gRage series, panels, debates and Lady Lolz.

And it’s not just You Are Here – Smiths’ has been a staunch supporter of the Canberra arts scene under its various incarnations for many years, and since its relaunch in 2013, it has become a much needed and very well-loved venue for our musicians, artists, writers and poets to gather and make art in.

Canberra has a venue problem – it’s not a secret that besides The Front, Smiths’, The Phoenix and Gorman Arts Centre, there are very few places that are affordable and even amenable to experimental arts.

You Are Here is lucky to be able to work with some amazing venues every year, with the help of our sponsors and partners, and to even create a special venue in our hub space for each festival.

But in some ways, the very vibrancy of the festival in terms of spaces contrasts starkly with the rest of the year, when it can be a distinct struggle to find a venue for local artists to run wild in.

The closure of Smiths’ harks the beginning of what could be a grim period for our arts community. It’s critical that we support local venues to make sure that creative spaces can thrive here.

It’s equally important that businesses support the arts, and do what Smiths’ has always done so well – take a chance on something a bit left-of-centre, open their doors to our creative folk, and let events evolve and grow in their spaces.

Nick, Vanessa, Adelaide & Andrew

The following events will be at The Record Store (opposite King O’Malley’s) today:

In The Loop

Ask Me Anything: Patrick Lenton

Ask Me Anything: Lex Hirst

(I hate you) for sentimental reasons – Dr Jeanine Leane