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NSW Government Is Putting $86 Million Into Helping the State's Arts Industry Reopen After Lockdown

The funding package includes $75 million to relaunch festivals and shows, $5 million for late-night culture events, plus $1 million to stage film fests to across Sydney.
By Sarah Ward
October 18, 2021
By Sarah Ward
October 18, 2021

More plays, more musicals, more festivals, more late-night trips to cultural institutions: now that Sydney has reopened after its nearly four-month lockdown, that's all back on the agenda. And, to give New South Wales' arts industry some much-needed assistance after an incredibly difficult year — which followed an already tough year in 2020 — the NSW Government has just announced a $86 million funding package.

Set to be delivered by Create NSW, the big stash of cash is specifically earmarked to help artists, musicians, theatres, venues, festivals and cultural organisations as the state kicks back into gear. The full amount has been split into smaller figures, too, with different pots of money set aside for the performing arts, arts festivals, theatre and film, up-late cultural events and film fests.

Accordingly, $50 million has been put into the performing arts relaunch package, which is designed to help the stage sector reopen; $25 million is earmarked for the festival relaunch package, with an aim of giving established commercial and not-for-profit festivals of all sizes some stability to move forward with 2022–23 programming; and $5 million will go towards the development of a film studio and theatre infrastructure strategy to bring more international movie productions and big theatre shows to NSW.

Also, the $5 million for up-late cultural events will be used to help Sydney's museums, galleries and other cultural institutions keep hosting evening programs, while $1 million will go to film festivals across Sydney, Western Sydney and South Western Sydney — including fests in independent and commercial cinemas, with a big focus on outdoor screenings where possible.

Because COVID-19 cancellations or postponements could keep getting in the way of major festivals and events, the NSW Government has also set up an event saver fund to provide support these shows if this occurs.

Unveiling the new funding on Sunday, October 17, NSW Treasurer Matt Kean said that "we have all been champing at the bit to see films in cinemas, our local bands on stage and our favourite musicals in theatres. This funding commitment will allow the arts and cultural sector to relaunch with certainty and confidence to deliver works that audiences have missed over the past year."

This new tranche of cast comes after other NSW Government funding for the industry both this year and last, including $75 million already announced in 2021 for the performing arts and live music, plus $50 million in 2020.

For more information about the NSW Government's just-announced arts funding, head to the Create NSW website.

Top image: Liam Cameron.

Published on October 18, 2021 by Sarah Ward


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