Witness will live or die by its readers. We want to be as accessible as possible while also making a living from our work. If enough readers support us, we will thrive; if they don’t, we won’t. Our ambition is to become financially autonomous, so we can be truly independent.
We’re committed to Witness for a year. If we’re unable to pay our rent at the end of 2018, we’ll shut up shop with no regrets. At the worst, we’ll have a year’s good work behind us and some very interesting experiences. At best, we’ll have laid the foundation for something that can continue to evolve into the future.
Our gamble is on you. We figure that if you want Witness, you will support us.
We aim to be transparent. For this reason, Witness is not seeking advertising revenue, as we see this as a major conflict of interest. Advertising – especially the threat of its withdrawal – has too often been used as a means of influencing editorial decisions.
Also for this reason, we do not accept sponsorship from performing arts companies, except when we enter specific collaborations that meet a mutual aim of generating discussion about the performing arts. One example is our critical program with Dancehouse around the Keir Choreographic Awards, which includes talks and workshops. These collaborations will always be clearly signalled. Also, as is standard with all media companies, we will accept provisions such as media review tickets and airfares/accommodation for interstate coverage.
We accept sponsorship from Education Partners. For example, Monash University’s Centre for Theatre and Performance is sponsoring us with a donation of $5000 through 2018, as part of our mutual aim of building connections between the academy and public discourse. Any educational institution interested in being a Witness Education Partner can contact us through this page for more information.
At the beginning of 2018, we received a seed grant of $35,000 from Creative Victoria, which enabled us to set up this website and pay our staff, some freelancers and ourselves (a little). In May, we were successful in obtaining another grant of $35,000 from the Australia Council, which means we will be able to survive until the end of 2018.