Hundreds of Victorian creatives who have been hard-hit by the ongoing impacts of coronavirus have received a lifeline through the second tranche of the Victorian Government’s Sustaining Creative Workers grants, enabling them to keep working, adapting and creating through the crisis.
Grants totalling $2.3 million will directly support 373 independent creatives and micro-businesses across the state, including performers, writers, fashion designers, theatre companies and festivals.
This includes an additional $500,000 injected into the program to help meet high levels of demand, especially amongst those with little access to other forms of government support.
Prior to the pandemic, the creative industries employed 280,000 Victorians and contributed $31 billion annually to the state economy. In recent months the sector has been devastated due to coronavirus related restrictions and closures, with thousands of people losing work and income.
Recipients in this round include writer/director/performer Candy Bowers, actor Nadine Garner, dancer/choreographer Deanne Butterworth, fashion designer Alice Edgeley, music label Bad Apples, sculptural artist Anna Varendorff (ACV Studio), and writer/comedian Alistair Baldwin .
The grants will enable them to develop, deliver and adapt their work in a changed environment, including supporting equipment upgrades to enable work from home, research and development, digital initiatives, and professional and business capacity building.
A range of creative festivals and events will move to online formats, including The Festival of Jewish Arts and Music, Melbourne Queer Film Festival, Freeplay Independent Games Festival, Geelong’s Festival of Glass, Human Rights Arts and Film Festival and Open House Melbourne.
Micro-organisations like disability dance and theatre company Weave Movement Theatre, independent children’s books publisher Ford Street, physical theatre company Dislocate and Warrnambool art gallery The F Project will adapt to new ways of operating, presenting work and connecting with audiences.
These latest grants bring the total funding delivered through the program up to $4.7 million. A further 398 recipients were supported in the first tranche of the program.
Sustaining Creative Workers was delivered in partnership with Regional Arts Victoria and Arts Access Victoria.