$17 million investment to protect Melbourne’s arts and culture

CoM Signal AARThe City of Melbourne will invest $17 million in the arts to keep Melburnians connected to our creative sector as the city responds to COVID-19.

Lord Mayor Sally Capp said the City of Melbourne’s draft Budget for 2020–21 invests significantly in our arts and cultural sectors. “Melbourne is Australia’s undisputed arts and cultural capital, but these sectors need to be supported due to the severe downturn from COVID-19,” said the Lord Mayor.

“Arts and culture are a huge factor in our city’s nation-leading liveability and contribute $31 billion annually to the Victorian economy. Investing in our creative talent now will cement our city’s strengths, while protecting local jobs and supporting billions of dollars in economic activity.”

“More arts and culture in Melbourne means local businesses thrive and more people stay in jobs. We are investing $17 million in artists and arts organisations in the coming year through grants, investment in public art and programming,” said the Lord Mayor.

Arts, Culture and Heritage portfolio Chair Councillor Rohan Leppert said the funding will enable creatives to continue to work through the shutdown by developing new works and online projects.

“We will invest $4.6 million for arts programming and artist support across our ArtPlay children’s space at Birrarung Marr, the Signal creative studio for young people along Flinders Walk and our Arts House contemporary performance space in North Melbourne,” said Cr Leppert.

“An injection of $1.5 million will boost public art projects to make our city streets and open spaces more interesting and vibrant for the benefit of everyone who enjoys our public spaces. Our Test Sites public art program is now open for expressions of interest with a pool of $125,000 available. Grants of up to $5000 will be made to 25 artists to participate in this online public art project.”

“In collaboration with Testing Grounds, we hope the artists will be able to come together and share their projects once COVID-19 restrictions are lifted. We’re also providing $4.2 million in annual and multi-year arts grants. We have lifted our annual arts grants pool to $850,000 and will recommence indexation of multi-year grants to support small, medium and independent arts organisations.”

“We are thrilled to be delivering YIRRAMBOI in 2021, showcasing outstanding First Nations artists. Our arts grants framework will include $125,000 in support for artists with a focus on contemporary Aboriginal works to deliver as part of YIRRAMBOI,” said Cr Leppert.

Expressions of interest for the Test Sites 2020 program can be made online until Sunday 31 May 2020. Public submissions on the draft Annual Plan and Budget 2020-21 are now open and close at 5.00pm on Wednesday 17 June 2020. For more information, visit: www.participate.melbourne.vic.gov.au for details.

Image: Signal – courtesy of City of Melbourne