Supporting our Creative State through coronavirus - $16.8 million package announced

25 April 2020

A $16.8 million Victorian Government funding package will provide immediate support to Victorian creative organisations and individuals to sustain employment, develop new works and provide opportunities for creative community participation, in the face of the global coronavirus pandemic.

Announcing the package, Minister for Creative Industries Martin Foley said: “Victoria is proudly the creative state. Even in these unprecedented times, our creatives continue to find ways to connect and inspire us – but they are doing it tough and they need our help.

“Ensuring that our cultural and creative sector gets through to the other side of this crisis will be critical to Victoria’s economic, social and cultural recovery.”

The package, which focuses on Victoria’s small to medium and independent creative sector, includes a $13 million Strategic Investment Fund which will boost support to almost 100 non-government arts and cultural organisations.

These span festivals; theatres and performing arts companies; museums and galleries; and First Peoples, youth and culturally diverse arts organisations that collectively employ almost 2,000 people and generate $270 million for the Victorian economy each year.

Beneficiaries include Victorian icons La Mama Theatre and Heide Museum of Modern Art, festivals such as the Melbourne International Comedy Festival and the Melbourne Fringe, regional events like the Ballarat International Foto Biennale and Clunes Booktown Festival and First Peoples organisations Ilbijerri Theatre and Kaiela Arts in Shepparton, and many more.

The fund will help organisations to stabilise, continue their operations and keep people employed, commission local artists to develop new works, and deliver programs for their communities.

A $2.2 million initiative – Sustaining Creative Workers – will offer quick response grants for Victorian-based independent creatives and micro-organisations with at least five years of professional experience.

Grants of $5,000 will be available for individuals, and $10,000 for micro-organisations and businesses. An additional $2,500 in access funding will be available for Deaf and Disabled creatives, and Disability-led organisations.

Creative Victoria’s funding programs continue to provide vital support to the sector, enabling creatives to work during the shutdown, develop new projects, undertake professional development and pilot online platforms and other initiatives to reach new audiences.

Almost $1.6 million will be invested directly into the sector over the next three weeks through the latest rounds of the VicArts Grants, Music Works, and Innovation in Marketing programs.

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