The Australia Council for the Arts has detailed plans to financially assist artists, groups, practitioners and institutions who have lost work or are struggling due to the outbreak of COVID-19.
The Australia Council says that by freeing up funds from other proposed programs, the relief package will be able to help provide support the thousands of venues, theatres, rehearsal studios and other arts institutions shutting their doors to assist in flattening the curve.
The relief package will see the Australia Council make adjustments to Four Year Funding between 2021-2024, suspend current investments to focus on those that provide immediate relief, creating an online learning series to assist artists in picking themselves back up amidst the crisis, supporting First Nations communities, digital support and funding research to identify both short and long term impacts of COVID-19 upon Australia's cultural sector.
In a statement released late last night, Australia Council Chief Executive Adrian Collete also noted that the Council are in regular correspondence with governing bodies to obtain all relevant information and ensure that they can assist in the efforts of the wider community.
“The impact is not just on our cultural and creative sectors. The flow on effect is immense for the broader community and economy, not least the many thousands more employed in related industries driven so strongly by the arts and creative industries, such as tourism, hospitality, regional and community businesses," Collete said.
“And importantly, the rapid disappearance of Australian creative work from our lives will have a major social and cultural impact on the Australian public in both the short and long term. We acknowledge the hardship and isolation felt by artists and practitioners at this time, and the impact that temporary closure of many arts organisations is having on our collective wellbeing.
“We have freed up funds – as much as we are able – to immediately respond to the critical situation faced by Australian arts and culture. We are introducing new support and sector development programs... In these stressful times, our arts sector continues to be extraordinary. It has been enormously important to hear from so many of you and witness great acts of organising and solidarity, including many creative responses to make people feel included at a time of social distancing, and rapid pivots to new platforms to release work.”
Find out more about the Australia Council for the Arts' relief package.