Extra $1 million to keep arts organisations afloat

Ian Bushnell 11 May 2020
Ainslie and Gorman Arts Centres

Ainslie and Gorman Arts Centres house multiple local arts oganisations. Photo: Supplied.

Canberra’s arts organisations affected by the COVID-19 restrictions will benefit from a $1 million support package announced by the ACT Government.

Minister for the Arts, Creative Industries and Cultural Events Gordon Ramsay said the extra money would help arts bodies weather the COVID-19 storm and save jobs in the industry.

“We have already created and saved hundreds of jobs by swiftly implementing stimulus packages and regulatory reforms to ensure the economic survival of the Territory, and we will ensure the arts are not left behind,” Mr Ramsay said.

“The arts are going to play an important role in our community’s recovery from COVID-19.

“By providing an additional $1 million investment to arts organisations now, we are saving jobs, investing in their long-term viability and preparing the arts sector to provide leadership as we emerge and recover from the pandemic.”

Eligible arts organisations (currently funded Key Arts and Program organisations) will be invited to apply for support by demonstrating their financial need this calendar year.

These include the ACT Writers Centre, the Ainslie and Gorman Arts Centres, the Belconnen Arts Centre, the Canberra Contemporary Art Space, the Canberra Glassworks, the Canberra Potters Society, the Canberra Symphony Orchestra, the Canberra Youth Theatre, Craft ACT, Megalo Access Arts, Music For Canberra, PhotoAccess Inc, the QL2 Centre for Youth Dance, the Strathnairn Arts Association, The Street Theatre, the Tuggeranong Community Arts Association and the Warehouse Circus.

Applications are due on 22 May and will be assessed based on any Federal Government support already received, lost revenue and the desired outcome of keeping Canberrans employed and our arts sector viable.

The Government will be working closely with the organisations invited to submit proposals, to work through the required information.

Canberra Symphony Orchestra CEO Rachel Thomas said the funding announcement was an important step towards recovery for the arts sector.

“We are still looking at what this means for the CSO specifically; however, we welcome this funding announcement and the Minister’s commitment to the local arts ecosystem,” she said.

This investment in our arts organisations is the latest measure taken by ACT Government to support the arts community.

HOMEFRONT grants worth $500,000 have already been provided to 66 local artists to help them progress work during COVID-19, while artists and art organisations occupying ACT Government-owned properties are being charged no rent for six months.

The new spending announced brings the Government’s support package for the arts to just under $2.2 million.

For further information on ACT Government support for the arts community during COVID-19, visit artsACT.

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