In parallel, the peak arts organisation for the region is underway advocating for support from all available avenues including state and federal governments, philanthropic, corporate and private channels. While these take time, the creative community needs assistance now, launching Arts Northern Rivers’ Flood Recovery campaign.
The creative sector across the entire region has collectively suffered untold losses: galleries losing entire collections, studios, equipment, and artworks in ruin, and livelihoods in freefall. Along with this, Arts Northern Rivers also have completely lost their office to the floods.
Unfortunately, like many across the region, the not-for-profit organisation is not insured for floods. With insurance premiums beginning at $30,000 per annum, this is simply an unattainable cost for most across the arts sector.
With a core value of advocacy, Arts Northern Rivers has already reached out to the region’s colleagues and peers to begin the task of tracking the scale of the damages.
These damages are rising into the 10s of millions in building and infrastructure alone including Lismore Regional Gallery, The Northern Rivers Conservatorium, Lismore City Hall (NORPA), M-Arts (Murwillumbah), Byron School of Art, Spaghetti Circus, and so many more.
What is extremely prevalent is the magnitude of loss for the region’s independents, which, with the highest concentration of creatives outside a metro area numbering into the hundreds, are suffering greatly, and it will take months if not years to come through this.
“It’s heartbreaking to witness our community suffer. Following a run of unprecedented crises, we are collectively exhausted, and the concept of ‘resilience’ seems to be out of reach right now,” said Arts Northern Rivers Executive Director Jane Fuller.
“All assistance contributes to the imminent needs of the creative sector to start recovering from the destructive impact of flooding that inundated our region and we thank anyone with the ability to support our creative recovery.”
This call for donations will directly assist Arts Northern Rivers to provide funding assistance to the arts and cultural sector across the region to recover from the flood losses. Funds will also be partially allocated to assist the Arts Northern Rivers office re-build, including the purchase of core equipment and resources.
Image: Lismore CBD public artwork by Holly Ahern and Eden Crawford-Harriman – photo by Brendan Beirne.