Arts sector to share in $250m in loans, grants as part of COVID-19 package

Posted 25 June 2020

Arts sector to share in $250m in loans, grants as part of COVID-19 package

Thousands of jobs across the entertainment, arts and screen sectors will be backed with a new $250 million targeted taxpayer-funded package, providing new grants and loans over 12 months to ensure the industry survives the coronavirus pandemic.

The Federal government will soon reveal its tailored survival funding for the sector to support the $112 billion creative economy and the more than 600,000 Australians it employs. The commercial arts and entertainment sector was one of the first to be affected by COVID-19, through strict social distancing measures that were enforced, and would be one of the last to come out of hibernation.

The package, which includes $75 million in grants to provide capital to help production and event businesses and $35 million in direct financial assistance to theatres, dance groups, circuses, musicians and other fields, would help get artists back into business and workers back into jobs.

A $50 million fund will be established to support local film and television producers to secure finance and start filming again. Filming of new productions has largely been halted as insurers are not providing coverage for COVID-19.

Grants of between $75,000 to $2 million will be made available in competitive funding from next month to provide capital to put on new festivals, concerts, tours and events as social distancing restrictions ease, including through innovative operating and digital delivery models.

About $90 million in “show starter” concessional loans to fund new productions and events that stimulate job creation and economic activity will also be made available. The loans program will be delivered through commercial banks, backed by a 100 per cent Commonwealth guarantee.

A ministerial taskforce to partner with the government and the Australia Council will also be established to implement the plan for the creative economy. Its members and guidelines grant and loan programs to be released in the coming weeks.

Arts sector leaders, have been calling for urgent assistance, after institutions and cultural figures faced immediate pain from the pandemic. Amid widespread job layoffs, some creators were also ineligible for JobKeeper payments.

The Federal Government met industry leaders and artists including Guy Sebastian and Mark Vincent last week in an online discussion about the best ways to revive the sector, after a roundtable in March warned Australia would face a “cultural recession”.

The package aims to deliver jobs and enable creative and cultural experiences back to Australians.

READ THE FULL ARTICLE HERE.

© 2020 Geelong Region ArtsAtlas web design by greengraphics