SLAM (Save Live Australia’s Music) activists win Sidney Myer Performing Arts Award
Helen Marcou and Quincy McLean have been named as recipients of the Sidney Myer Performing Arts Award Facilitator’s Prize for their contributions to the Australian music industry and creative arts practice.The annual Awards recognise outstanding achievements in performing arts.
Helen and Quincy are musicians, agitators and living proof that genuine and lasting change can be brought about if strongly enough desired. The Melbourne-based husband and wife are the owners and operators of Bakehouse Studios, which, since it’s founding in 1991, has put a creative roof over the heads of thousands of Melbourne’s music makers. In 2014 they started a bold art project within this working music studio that has brought together disparate disciplines mixing contemporary music with visual art, jewellers, taxidermists, shoemakers, photography, classical, fashion and even brought the humble rock poster into this realm.
In 2010, they formed SLAM (Save Live Australia’s Music) and rallied 20.000 people, changed laws and put live music firmly on the political agenda. Since then, they continue to volunteer thousands of hours to help shape Live Music policy nationwide and have been at the frontline of negotiations for the Victorian planning reforms in 2014.
Quincy McLean:“When we committed to forming SLAM we put our heads down with the expectation that if we had a rally that demonstrated the charm and character that we knew our music community had in spades, that if we finally got out on the streets and got to show these lawmakers what we had and if we made it big enough and strong enough we just might be able to change the direction. We thought we could bang some pots and pans in the streets, draw some attention and it'd all come good. We didn't realize that in grabbing the ear of government, we'd find ourselves at the front of the campaign and we'd have to put our heads down for 5 years to sign off on all those demands.
We are so grateful, now that we come up for air, to be made recipients of this prestigious award that represents historically, from the famous Sidney Myer Music Bowl to the retail empire, philanthropy, and a profound nurturing of the arts.”