Melbourne Fringe receives $1M budget windfall as Sydney Fringe announces new initiatives

Fringe Festivals in Australia’s two largest cities are preparing for a return to physical presentation of work as they announce a number of new programs designed to support independent artists.

Funds to support the creation of new work by independent artists have been allocated to Melbourne Fringe in the Victorian state budget 2021-2022.

The budget, handed down on Thursday 20 May, includes $250,000 a year over the next four years for Melbourne Fringe.

This $1 million investment will enable Melbourne Fringe to commission a series of works by independent artists, with outcomes presented at the Melbourne Fringe Festival each October, at year-round venue Fringe Common Rooms at Trades Hall, and on the Digital Fringe platform online.

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Richard Watts is ArtsHub's National Performing Arts Editor; he also presents the weekly program SmartArts on community radio station Three Triple R FM, and serves as the Chair of La Mama Theatre's volunteer Committee of Management. Richard is a life member of the Melbourne Queer Film Festival, and was awarded the status of Melbourne Fringe Festival Living Legend in 2017. In 2019 he was awarded the Sidney Myer Performing Arts Awards' Facilitator's Prize. Most recently, Richard was presented with a Lifetime Achievement Award by the Green Room Awards Association in June 2021.

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