25 April 2020

What is the Victorian Government doing to help Victoria’s creative industries survive the impacts of coronavirus?

The Victorian Government has announced $16.8 million of dedicated funding for Victoria’s creative sector, focused on small to medium organisations and independent practitioners.

This urgent and immediate support will help maintain creative jobs and activity, help individuals and organisations to regenerate income, develop new work and provide new opportunities for creative community participation during the current shutdown.

This support includes:

  • A new $13 million Strategic Investment Fund, open to Creative Victoria-funded, non-government arts and cultural organisations – spanning almost 100 festivals, performing arts companies, museums, galleries, and First Peoples, youth and culturally diverse arts organisations across Victoria.
  • A new $2.2 million Sustaining Creative Workers initiative offering quick response grants for impacted Victorian based independent artists, creative practitioners and micro-organisations, with five or more years of professional experience.
  • $1.6 million in grants through Creative Victoria’s funding programs, focusing on activities that can be undertaken in the current climate, such as the research and development of new creative works, professional development activities and new ways of reaching audiences.

This targeted funding complements broader Victorian Government economic measures,  including the $500 million Business Support Fund which is providing vital support to businesses in the hardest sectors, including the creative industries; and the Working for Victoria scheme which is helping those who are out of work to secure alternative employment during this time.

How will this package support the employment of people within the creative industries?

Our multi-year funded, non-government organisations employ over 1,900 Victorians and range from major festivals to theatre companies, youth arts organisations, museums, galleries and more. Collectively these organisations generate $270 million for the Victorian economy each year. Organisations can use this immediate support to reinforce their workforce, for example, by topping up the JobKeeper payment.

Individual creative practitioners and sole traders are not eligible for the JobKeeper payment and currently have very few streams of income to rely on. The Sustaining Creative Workers initiative will provide them with small grants to keep producing and progressing work.

Why do the creative industries need specific support?

While many industries and parts of the economy have been affected and require support, the creative industries were among the first and hardest hit by the impacts of coronavirus and the shutdown of public activity.

For thousands of creative practitioners and organisations across the state, revenue immediately dried up as venues closed and events and performances were cancelled. The impact on the sector, and the jobs and lives of individuals within it, is ongoing and wide-reaching.

ABS data 2020 shows that only 47 per cent of arts and recreational businesses are currently still operating – the only sector below 50 per cent.

Victoria is proudly the creative state and our creative industries ordinarily contribute $31 billion to the state economy. They employ more than 260,000 people – 8.6 per cent of Victoria’s workforce – and engage millions of Victorians each year.

Along with other government support, this targeted funding will help keep people in jobs, enable creatives to continue their practice, and develop a pipeline of Victorian creative projects for the future, ensuring that Victorians can continue to enjoy creative experiences.

Is this new support?

The $13 million Strategic Investment Fund provides additional support to organisations, over and above their existing multi-year funding arrangements with Creative Victoria.

Likewise, the $2.2 million Sustaining Creative Workers initiative is an additional avenue of support for independent creatives to specifically address the impacts of coronavirus.