The Government announced a $250 million package on 25 June 2020 to support artists and organisations following the disruptions caused by COVID-19. The ATO acknowledges that many artists were the first to lose their jobs and income, and The Arts Sector may be one of the last to recover.
With that in mind the appropriately named ‘COVID-19 Creative Economy Support Package’ is designed to address the urgent needs within the sector. The COVID-19 Creative Economy Support Package is an ‘economic package’ as opposed to creative or cultural funding – is designed to kickstart the artistic community and generate jobs.
The COVID-19 Creative Economy Support Package comprises:
|Seed Investment to Reactivate Productions and Tours
Productions, festivals and events – including theatre, dance, community and arts and culture gatherings.
Individuals are able to apply for funding.
|$75m||The competitive grant is administered through the Restart Investment to Sustain and Expand (RISE) Fund and provides seed funding to substitute for the capital lost as a result of cancellations and rescheduling of events.
Grants range from $75,000 to $2 million.
Part of the funding has been earmarked for music recovery – recording and distribution, contemporary music touring, the development of safe venue infrastructure and protocols.
|Show Starter Loans
Businesses able to generate jobs—including through the
synergy between arts and entertainment and travel, tourism and hospitality.
|$90m||In a move to free up capital, the Government is providing a 100% guarantee for loans through financial institutions to assist arts and entertainment businesses to fund new
productions and events.
Lenders will provide facilities that only have to be drawn down if needed. Loan terms will be up
to five years, with an initial 12-month repayment deferral. That is, the amount drawn down will need to be paid back, but in the event the loan can’t be repaid, the bank is protected.
The loans are part of the Government’s existing Coronavirus Small and Medium Enterprises
(SME) Guarantee Scheme.
|Local Screen Production
Local film and television productions
|$50m||A Temporary Interruption Fund (TIF) for Screen Australia for local film and television producers to restart filming.
See Screen Australia’s Funding and Support initiatives page
The fund commences from 1 July 2020 for 12 months.
Support significant Commonwealth-funded arts and culture organisations
|$35m||Funding to support significant Commonwealth-funded arts and culture organisations facing threats to their viability due to COVID-19.|
Outside of the funding package, SupportAct received $10m in funding for COVID-19 crisis relief grants. Crisis funding is accessible to:
- musicians, crew and music workers who are unable to access Government benefits due to eligibility or other issues;
- music workers who have been able to access Government benefits but are still facing financial hardship; and to
- those who are suffering financial hardship as a result of injury, ill-health or a mental health issue that is managed through a current Mental Health plan.
To be eligible, you will need to be a musician, crew or music worker, who:
- is an Australian citizen, permanent resident or have a valid working visa;
- can prove they been working in the music industry for three years;
- can provide names and details of two professional referees;
- have household expenses greater than household income.
More details regarding Government aid of the Cultural and Creative sectors can be found on The Office for the Arts webpage.