Council kicks in to reboot local arts and culture

Posted 9 July 2020

Geelong rebooting local arts and culture

The Greater Geelong Council is poised to help sustain and strengthen the local arts, entertainment, cultural and heritage sectors, committing $510,000 through its two most recent COVID-19 support packages.

The initiatives funded as part of the package have been recommended by the Geelong COVID-19 Arts Recovery (G-CAR) Advisory Panel, a group of 21 industry experts brought together by the Council in May. They aim to address the urgent and longer-term needs of Greater Geelong’s creatives, whose livelihoods have been decimated by the pandemic.

The funding is split into three distinct programs, as follows:

  • Employment opportunities for the region’s arts industries ($330,000): Will create new commissioning opportunities of up to $20,000 through an expressions of interest process. This funding aims to generate cross-industry partnerships where artists and creatives contribute to improved tourism, urban design, street life, our heritage and overall community health and wellbeing, as examples.

  • COVID-19 Arts, Culture and Heritage Recovery Grants ($150,000): A new grants stream with funding of up to $5000 available for projects that will aid recovery through support for the creation of art. This funding adds to the existing $220,000 Arts Projects and Festivals grants stream, which offers grants of up to $10,000. Applications for both of these grants streams will open on 17 July at

  • Skills and training ($30,000): For mentoring and capacity development, including training in entrepreneurial and technological skills to assist artists in building their practice, operations and income. It’s hoped this funding will help nurture the future of our creative community. The $510,000 allocation is made up of $490,000 from the Council’s COVID-19 Community and Economic Support package announced on 30 June, and $20,000 from the support package announced on 14 April. The allocation has been partially funded by redirecting proposed contributions for Geelong After Dark ($90,000), Mountain to Mouth ($100,000) and public art ($70,000), with the remaining funding added to the Council’s 2020-21 Budget.

“Our local creative industries have been hit unbelievably hard by the pandemic through the closure of cultural facilities, the cancellation of arts and culture events, and the overall economic downturn. This has led to artists and creatives suffering severe financial hardship and reduced wellbeing. The Council wanted to show that we value what this sector brings to our region by making a positive commitment towards its recovery. A big thanks to the members of the G-CAR panel who have given their time and expertise to help shape these very good initiatives.”

– Quotes attributed to Acting Mayor Kylie Grzybek

“Around 98 per cent of Australians take part in the arts in some form as participants, consumers or both. The arts matter to all of us, and so it was vital for the Council to provide support to help the industry get back on its feet. Greater Geelong’s 30-year clever and creative vision sets a goal for us to establish ourselves as a leading cultural region. For this to happen, we need to support our artists and creatives now, and invest in their future.

The G-CAR panel tells us that they see this as a seminal time to redefine Geelong’s creative scene, and a great opportunity for re-imagination and reinvention. We look forward to seeing some amazing ideas and creativity come to life through these new initiatives.”

– Quotes attributed to Cr Trent Sullivan, Chair – Arts, Culture and Heritage portfolio.

Anyone seeking more information about these initiatives or other support available is invited to call the City of Greater Geelong’s Arts and Culture team on 5272 6186 or email

The Council has now released a total of $10.7 million in COVID-19 support measures to businesses, community groups and the wider community.





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