Victorian musicians, game developers, filmmakers, writers, galleries and fashion labels are among the first tranche of beneficiaries from the Victorian Government’s Sustaining Creative Workers initiative.
Minister for Creative Industries Martin Foley has announced more than $2.4 million in grants to support almost 400 Victorian creative workers, organisations and micro-businesses to undertake activities that will enable the sector to rebuild and bounce back from the coronavirus pandemic.
“We’re proud to be backing local creative workers and businesses to ensure they can keep operating and creating through to the other side of this pandemic,” said Minister Foley. “This is vital support to protect jobs, help our creative businesses to rebound and recover, and maintain Victoria’s position as the creative state – and all the benefits that brings.”
Demonstrating the breadth of Victoria’s creative community, the recipients include rapper BIRDZ, fashion labels Strateas Carlucci, Yeojin Bae and Gwendolynne, south-west Victoria’s Find Your Voice – All Abilities Choir, authors Jock Serong and Nam Lee, game developer Paper House, artist Lisa Roet, children’s group The Listies and industrial designer Girius Antanaitis.
Some artists and businesses will create work to launch when restrictions ease while others respond to the new environment with initiatives such as a ‘drive-in’ performance at the Newstead Racecourse or a performance delivered to audiences over the phone.
The creative industries employ 280,000 people in Victoria and contribute $31 billion to the state’s economy. It is among the hardest hit sectors, with venue closures, screen industry shutdowns and event cancellations leaving thousands of creative practitioners and associated trades out of work and leading to millions in lost revenue.
This first tranche of activities will see artists focus on expanding business skills, purchasing streaming equipment or creating online stores to expand their markets. Others will respond to the crisis by hosting online launch events and virtual publicity tours or by adapting cancelled shows into podcasts, audio plays or online exhibitions.
To future-proof their businesses, many will use this time to upskill staff in new technologies, adapt their studios to include livestreaming capabilities, explore how to present events with both online and live components and to establish new supply chains where all materials can be sourced, and created, onshore.
The $4.2 million Sustaining Creative Workers initiative is a quick-response grants program that is part of the Victorian Government’s $51.1 million response to safeguard our renowned creative sector and keep creatives working. Delivered in partnership with Regional Arts Victoria and Arts Access Victoria, rolling assessments are continuing. For more information and full list of grant recipients, visit: www.creative.vic.gov.au for details.
Image: The Listies (supplied)