Victorian Budget delivers $225.5m investment in local creativity

AAR Australian Money Notes 630Creative ideas, skills development, major exhibitions and events and regional creative growth are the key themes for the creative industries in the 2019-20 Victorian Budget.

Handed down yesterday, the Budget features $225.5m over four years for initiatives that will benefit individual creative practitioners, small to medium organisations and businesses and flagship institutions. The $225.5m figure is in addition to Creative Victoria’s core funding.

Recognising Geelong’s position as Australia’s fastest growing regional city, Geelong Performing Arts Centre will receive $128m for the final stage of its redevelopment which will double its capacity, introducing three new theatre spaces, more dining options and state-of-the-art back of house facilities.

National Gallery Victoria’s popular annual summer program will continue over the next three years with $47.7m allocated for this and other activities. This year’s summer blockbuster will celebrate artists Keith Haring and Jean-Michel Basquiat and 2020 will see the second NGV Triennial after the first, staged in 2017-18, attracted more than 1.2m people.

A $6.4 million package will continue to support a range of programs for independent artists and small organisations including the Music Works grants programs; creative research and development program, the Creators Fund, and programs supporting regional activity.

$14m over four years will support Victoria Live, a celebration of live music that will take place in Melbourne and regional Victoria, while annual design program, MPavilion, the Dance Massive festival and AsiaTOPA 2020, Arts Centre Melbourne’s major celebration of performing arts from across the Asia Pacific region, also receive support as part of this package.

$6.2m will support local screen industry opportunities via Film Victoria’s film and television investment programs, placements for emerging talent and support for Victorian-made digital games; while the new three-year, $3m Indian Cinema and Bollywood Investment Attraction Fund will further boost screen production in the state.

$5m will continue the Arts and Cultural Facilities Maintenance Fund, $7 million will go towards the State Library Victoria Vision 2020 project, Museums Victoria receives $4.5m to refresh and rejuvenate its exhibitions and ACMI receives $2.77m to support its operations during its renewal project.

$1m will support the creation of large-scale artworks across the state, following the success of game-changing projects such as the Wimmera Silo Art Trail, now a major tourism drawcard for the region.

The Budget gives LGBTIQ communities reason to celebrate with a boost to regional events and funding to plan Melbourne Pride in 2021 – marking the 40th anniversary of the decriminalisation of homosexuality in Victoria. It also includes $800,000 for JOY 94.9 to relocate to the Victorian Pride Centre in St Kilda.

The Budget provides a strong and creative community base to launch the review of our new Creative State Policy later this year to continue driving our cultural and artistic future.

“Our creative industries provide jobs for more than 260,000 Victorians and bring in thousands of visitors from around the world. They are central to making Victoria an exciting place to live and visit,” said Minister for Creative Industries Martin Foley.

“By backing our iconic and our growing creative institutions, we’re leading the way as the creative state and raising our international profile as the place to be for cultural events.”

For a breakdown of this year’s budget initiatives, the following fact sheets: Output initiatives – details the budget initiatives to support creative programs and operating activities; while Asset initiatives – details the infrastructure-related budget initiatives.