Fourth RISE round announced: $40 million to 82 orgs

While the roll out of $40M to the sector is welcomed, there are growing inconsistencies and warnings demonstrated in the latest list of RISE recipients.

Today, the Federal Government announced the results of the latest RISE (Restart Investment to Sustain and Expand Fund) round: $40 million distributed to 82 arts organisations nationally.

The fund consists of $200 million in total.

Today’s announcement comes just nine days after Shadow Minister for the Arts, Tony Burke MP, called out the Federal Government for delivering only $100 million of the $200 million since Arts Minister Paul Fletcher announced the RISE fund some 400 days ago.

Read: Half of Federal arts emergency money remains unspent

Fletcher said the $40 million rollout of funds is ‘especially important during such a difficult period for the sector’.

He continued: ‘Demand for RISE funding has been significant since it opened last year. The latest funding will be allocated immediately to create more than 56,000 employment opportunities across the country.

‘RISE has been critical in supporting Australia’s live performance venues and events during an unprecedented time of widespread disruption from the pandemic,’ said the Minister.

Responding to the news, Liz Ann Macgregor, Director of the Museum of Contemporary Art Australia and Creative Economy Taskforce Chair, said the funding was a crucial lifeline for the sector to continue delivering events.

‘­RISE is rebuilding confidence and assisting arts and entertainment businesses to provide audiences with cultural and creative experiences nationwide. The strong demand for the program is indicative of the importance of this investment, Macgregor said.

‘The funding is also invaluable for the broader economy, generating employment and economic activity for other industries such as hospitality and tourism,’ she added.

WHAT WERE THE 82 ORGS FUNDED?

ArtsHub has taken a look at today’s list of 82 organisations benefiting from the boost.

The biggest winner was Bluesfest with $2.4 million to reignite the festival following consecutive COVID-19 cancellations in 2020 and 2021.

Other top five recipients are Empire Touring Festival Series (NSW) $1.54; Falls Music & Arts Festival (QLD) receiving $1.47; WOMADelaide, which receives $1.2M; and Adelaide Fringe Festival (SA) and Under the Southern Stars (VIC) both with $1M.

The spread is national, but weighted towards

  • NSW: 29 orgs
  • Victoria: 24
  • Queensland: 13
  • Western Australia: 7
  • South Australia: 5
  • Tasmania: 3
  • Northern Territory: 2
  • ACT: 1

With regard to artform, overwhelmingly it is festivals that benefit from the latest RISE round.

Thirty five festivals were awarded funding from the $40 million pool to the sum of $21.3M – or 53% of the funded organisations in this fourth round.

The spread geographically was: 11 festivals in NSW, seven in Victoria and Queensland, six from WA, two festivals in SA, one in the ACT, and one national touring festival.

The remaining funded organisations sat within the following areas:

  • Performing Arts 26
  • Visual Arts 9
  • Literary Arts 4
  • Film 3
  • Mixed arts 4
  • Specifically First Nations  4

There has been a very clear weighting towards the performing arts – and when taking into account that the lion’s share of events that fall under festivals are also performing arts – this signals a frightening disparity across the sector.

Among two of those ‘performing’ events funded were for TEG Dainty Pty Ltd to present a concert by rock band Guns N’ Roses ($750,000) and a Summer Series with music icons KISS and Keith Urban (a further grant of $900,000).

While these events employ many hard-hit workers within the ‘gig economy’, some might question whether small to medium visual arts and literary organisations might have better supported our home-grown arts sector.

See the full list of recipients.

Gina Fairley is ArtsHub's National Visual Arts Editor. For a decade she worked as a freelance writer and curator across Southeast Asia and was previously the Regional Contributing Editor for Hong Kong based magazines Asian Art News and World Sculpture News. Prior to writing she worked as an arts manager in America and Australia for 14 years, including the regional gallery, biennale and commercial sectors. She is based in Mittagong, regional NSW. Twitter: @ginafairley Instagram: fairleygina

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