Victorian Government announces Survival Package to help save Arts Jobs

AAR Clunes Booktown Festival - photo by Chloe Smith PhotographyThe Victorian Government is helping to save hundreds of jobs in the state’s independent creative and cultural sector while keeping Victorians connected through the coronavirus crisis.

A $16.8 million survival package will provide immediate support to Victorian creative organisations and individuals to sustain employment, develop new works and provide opportunities for creative community participation. Victoria’s creative industries are a jobs powerhouse, contributing $31 billion to the economy annually and employing 260,000 people – 8 per cent of the state’s workforce.

“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,” said Minister for Creative Industries Martin Foley. “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.”

Under the survival package, a $13 million Strategic Investment Fund will be shared by almost 100 non-government arts and cultural organisations including festivals, performing arts companies, museums and galleries. These bodies 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.

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.

Separately, a new $2.2 million – 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 creatives with a disability, and disability-led organisations.

Creative Victoria’s funding programs continue to provide vital support to the sector, enabling creatives to continue to work through the shutdown and 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 VicArts Grants, Music Works, and Innovation in Marketing programs. Details of the latest grant recipients will be available on the Creative Victoria website from midday on Monday 27 April 2020,

Applications for Sustaining Creative Workers open on Thursday 30 April 2020. For more information, and program guidelines, visit: www.creative.vic.gov.au. For more information and advice on Coronavirus (COVID-19), visit: www.dhhs.vic.gov.au for details.

Image: Clunes Booktown Festival – photo by Chloe Smith Photography

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