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$1.5m package to support SA’s struggling arts sector

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A $1.5 million State Government funding package will seek to relieve the immediate pressure on SA’s arts sector caused by the coronavirus crisis, with help including “quick response grants” of up to $10,000 for independent professional artists.

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The COVID-19 Arts Grants Support package is intended to “support art making, creative development and professional development across all art forms”.

Premier Steven Marshall said the arts and culture sector was one of the industries hardest hit by the COVID-19 crisis.

“Many individual and independent artists have already lost their jobs, and our arts organisations are under severe pressure. We must support them,” he said.

“Alongside the Commonwealth Government’s package of business and individual income supports, these State Government grants will support the South Australian arts sector to sustain their work and practice during this challenging time.”

A statement accompanying details of the COVID-19 Arts Grants Support on the Arts SA website says the funding is intended to provide employment for independent artists and contribute to the sustainability of the small-to-medium sector in “uncertain times”, as well as enabling “the development of new work in new ways”, and supporting the exploration of “true cross-sector collaboration”.

Specific grants available include “quick response grants” of $5000 to $10,000 for artists to undertake professional development or continue creative practice.

Quick-response grants of the same value are available to help with the purchase, hiring or upgrading of technology and equipment to enable artists to share new and existing work via digital and virtual platforms.

Priority for these grants will be given to supporting artists who have had contracts cancelled, performances and tours cancelled, or exhibitions postponed.

Five “collaboration grants” of up to $100,000 are available for major arts and cultural organisations and the small-to-medium sector and independent artists to “achieve employment outcomes, explore new ways of working together, create and develop work and engage with audiences”.

The Government said Arts SA was also working to provide supplementary funding to organisations funded through the Arts Organisations Program that had been affected by cancelled tours, performances or other activities.

In addition, Arts SA is offering increased flexibility regarding the use of funding approved through previous grant applications, as well as varying the reporting requirements for such grants.

Details of the State Government’s COVID-19 Arts Grants Support, including deadlines for applications, can be found on the Arts SA website.

The Support Act Wellbeing Helpline – 1800 959 500 – is a free confidential helpline available 24/7 for anyone who works in the performing arts.  

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