78 Victorian arts and cultural organisations will share in $7.85 million in grants aimed at protecting jobs through the second stage of the Government’s Strategic Investment Fund for the creative industries.
“The pandemic has hit our creative organisations hard and they need support to keep employing, commissioning and serving their communities,” said newly installed Minister for Creative Industries, Danny Pearson.
“As we move safely and steadily towards COVID Normal these grants will support jobs across the spectrum – on stage, back of stage, in the office – and provide a base for recovery on the other side of the pandemic.”
Supported organisations include Victorian-based national icons such as The Australian Ballet and Circus Oz; regional festivals such as the Port Fairy Spring Music Festival and the Wangaratta Festival of Jazz and Blues; First Peoples arts organisations ILBIJERRI Theatre and Wurinbeena and youth theatre companies Arena Theatre and St Martins.
The funding will enable Heide Museum of Modern Art to turn its outdoor spaces into a COVIDSafe summer venue for performances, talks and workshops. Castlemaine State Festival will add extra days to its 2021 event so that venues can host more performances for smaller crowds and undertake extra cleaning between shows.
With digital proving the best path to audiences in 2020 many organisations will use their grants to further develop these capabilities, including theatre company Snuff Puppets which will transform its Footscray headquarters into a digital studio, employing local artists to create works that take the live puppet experience online.
Dance company Chunky Move will engage professionals from the film and television industry to explore ways to create screen-based dance works alongside its live program. St Kilda gallery Linden New Art will mark the 30th anniversary of the much-loved Linden Postcard Show (pictured) with a virtual exhibition and events program.
Many organisations will support independent creatives to build their skills and diversify their income. Music Victoria, Theatre Network Australia and Writers Victoria will host training and workshops while Shepparton’s Kaiela Arts will work with First Peoples artists to develop a suite of high-end products, creating new business opportunities for both the artists and the centre.
The $13 million Strategic Investment Fund is part of the Victoria Government’s overall $90 million investment to help the state’s hard-hit creative sector survive the impacts of the pandemic. Stage one of the Strategic Investment Fund provided $5.15 million in immediate sustainability grants to help organisations cover urgent costs ranging from wages to rent.
For more information and a full list of organisations supported through stage two, visit: www.creative.vic.gov.au for details.
Image: Linden Postcard Show 2019-20 (installation view) – photo by Theresa Harrison Photography