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ARTS & ENTERTAINMENT

Victoria's Arts and Cultural Institutions Have Received Over $30 Million in Funding to Help Them Survive COVID-19

The Victorian Government has also given $6 million to workers in the live music industry.
By Samantha Teague
May 13, 2020
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Victoria's Arts and Cultural Institutions Have Received Over $30 Million in Funding to Help Them Survive COVID-19

The Victorian Government has also given $6 million to workers in the live music industry.
By Samantha Teague
May 13, 2020
  shares

The COVID-19 pandemic has wreaked havoc on Australia's arts industry, with institutions forced to close their doors, events cancelled and thousands of workers out of jobs. To help the industry through the crisis, the Victorian Government has today handed its key institutions a multimillion-dollar lifeline.

Announced today as part of a $150 million package going to the state's sport, tourism and creative industries, $32 million of funding will be going to Geelong Arts Centre, Museums Victoria, National Gallery of Victoria, Arts Centre Melbourne and Melbourne Recital Centre. Forced to close their doors back in mid-March, these institutions were "hit hardest and earliest" in the pandemic according to Minister for Mental Health, Equality and Creative Industries Martin Foley.

At the announcement of the funding this morning, Wednesday, April 13, Foley said, "the creative industry sector alone is worth some $31 billion and employs some 260,000 Victorians right across our state."

The Government, while not speaking to it directly, is hoping this funding will help its institutions avoid the same fate as Sydney's Carriageworks, which entered voluntary administration earlier this month. Foley said it hopes the funding will help the arts centres to keep "going and solvent" during this crisis period. "We want to make sure that we continue to have the most visited gallery in the country, one of the top 20 in the world," Foley said.

NGV International

As well as the $32 million for arts institutions, the Victorian Government has promised $6 million to its live music industry workers. "Over 70,000 live music gigs were undertaken in Victoria in the past year, and we want to make sure that we're in a position, when the COVID crisis passes ... that we're supporting those live music creatives in a whole series of ways," Foley said. He also referenced Australian website I Lost My Gig, which has been tracking the number of cancelled gigs and events during the crisis, as well as the financial impact of those cancellations. According to the site, COVID-19 has led to $340 million of lost income for live music industry workers, at last count.

Some of this funding will also go to the previously announced Sustaining Creative Workers initiative, which provides funding of up to $5000 for individuals and $10,000 for collectives in the creative industries. Applications are open until June 1, 2020 or until the funding pool is exhausted.

Top image: NGV Triennial 2018, Flickr via Romain Pontida.

Published on May 13, 2020 by Samantha Teague

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