New funding opportunities drive arts, cultural and economic recovery in Queensland

Casey-Barnes-photo-by-Luke-MarsdenArts Minister Leeanne Enoch has announced the latest outcomes from the $22.5 million Arts and Cultural Recovery Package, to strengthen the Arts sector, help get the economy get back on track and connect Queenslanders with arts experiences.

Minister Enoch said that the Arts Sector was severely impacted by COVID-19 and these latest funding announcements help deliver Queensland’s plan for economic recovery and job creation for artists and arts organisations.

“The Arts and Cultural Recovery Package has so far provided $2.03 million to the sector, with almost $10 million due to be distributed by the end of the month to support the employment of artists, the reactivation of venues and to provide COVID-safe arts experiences,” said Minister Enoch.

“The package, announced in June, includes the Live Music Venue Support program, designed with quick response grants to provide funding of almost $360,000 to 18 live music venues, large and small, from Kuranda and Bundaberg to Burleigh Heads and Brisbane. “The Live Music Venue Support program works to offset the cost of re-opening in the wake of COVID-19, ensuring the venues continue to employ staff and engage local artists.

“Another program, Creative to Go, is to date supporting 24 projects and 241 artists with almost $380,000 in funding to offset the costs of delivering live performances and engagement activities in regional venues. This fund has clearly filled a gap for the sector as this popular fund is almost fully allocated and will now close on 18 September,” she said.

Singer-songwriter Casey Barnes received Creative to Go funding of $17,883 towards his Town of a Million Dreams tour to regional Queensland. “Back at the start of 2020 we had prepared an extensive national tour to coincide with the release of my latest album ‘Town of A Million Dreams’ which included a number of different states, festivals and venues,” he said.

“Sadly as we now know, along came a global pandemic which heavily impacted on the tour and how we could go about it. To top this off, I was also awarded ‘Artist of The Year’ at this year’s Gold Coast Music Awards which over the last two years has been won by Amy Shark.”

“So with all of this current momentum, there’s now an even bigger demand for myself and the band to get to a lot of these regional destinations to tour. The overall goal is to use this tour to help build on this momentum into 2021 to support even more touring next year once restrictions are hopefully eased and we can start playing at some larger festivals,” said Mr Barnes.

Minister Enoch said the Arts and Cultural Recovery Package also provided Play Local funding of $812 635 for 52 live music and performing arts venues throughout the State to host performances by Queensland acts and artists.

“Since the onset of COVID-19, the Palaszczuk Government has invested more than $42.5 million, including a $22.5 million Arts and Cultural Recovery Package, to sustain our arts sector, drive new creative work, employ artists and arts workers, and deliver rich, COVID-safe arts experiences for Queenslanders,” said Ms Enoch.

For more information, including successful recipients of the Live Music Venue Support; Play Local recipients; and Creative To Go recipients, visit: for details.

Image: Casey Barnes – photo by Luke Marsden