Federal Government announces $27M targeted funding to the Arts
The Federal Minister for Communications, Cyber Safety and the Arts, Hon Paul Fletcher MP and Minister for Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Development, Hon Michael McCormack MP, have today announced $27 million federal funding targeted to support Indigenous Arts, Regional Arts and charity Support Act. Whilst the additional funding is welcomed, those within the sector note additional funding and support are required to provide short and long term relief for the Arts Industry.
The $27 million federal funding includes:
$10 million to be distributed through Regional Arts Australia
$10 million to Support Act
$7 million to be distributed under the Indigenous Visual Arts Industry Support program.
As part of the funding, the Government is providing $10 million to help regional artists and organisations develop new work and explore new delivery models. The funding will be delivered through Regional Arts Australia’s Regional Arts Fund. The Regional Arts Fund, available nationally is currently valued at $13 million over 4 years on behalf of the Federal Government. It is delivered in partnership with state and territory members and regional program administrators throughout the country.
Chair of Regional Arts Australia, Dr Simon Spain says ‘With this additional investment, we will prioritise a program that will respond to the immediate needs of regional artists, organisations and communities across the country. In addition, these funds provide an opportunity to explore new ways to build a robust and sustainable regional arts sector for the future. We will continue to connect with creative institutions, First Nations organisations and build cross-industry partnerships in health, education, tourism and jobs, to contribute to the wellbeing and cultural vitality of regional and remote Australia.’
The Federal Government has allocated $10 million of the $27 million funding to national music sector support charity, Support Act. Chairperson of Support Act, Sally Howland, noted there had been an unprecedented amount of sector workers turning to Support Act for crisis relief, and despite numerous fundraisers, the organisation has been stretched to the limit. The additional funding will enable Support Act to provide crisis relief to artists, crew and music workers who have lost their jobs and income as a result of COVID-19, and to upscale and extend access to the Support Act Wellbeing Helpline to all members of the arts industry.
Support Act CEO, Clive Harris, noted the importance of Support Act and the additional funding in providing short term financial support for artists, crew and music workers who ‘fall through the cracks for any reason and are unable to access Government Benefits; and those who are injured, unwell or have a mental health issue that is preventing them from being able to work’.
$7 million of the funding will be delivered under the Indigenous Visual Arts Industry Support program.
Live Performance Australia (LPA) has welcomed the additional support for arts but noted much more is needed. LPA alongside numerous organisations and businesses within the sector recently lobbied for funding, noting the substantial losses recorded through the National I Lost My Gig website, which has currently tallied $330 million in losses since launching on 14 March 2020.
LPA Chief Executive, Evelyn Richardson noted “Governments still haven’t come to grips with the scale of the devastation that has been wreaked across our world class $4 billion live performance industry. We were the first impacted and will be the last to come out. We stand ready to work with government now and during the recovery. Additional targeted measures are urgently required and a ‘Bounce back’ plan is going to be vital. “Much more must be done, and time is running out,”