$250M Federal Government Arts and Entertainment Package

Arts sector to share in $250M COVID-19 relief package comprising new loans and grants.

The Federal Government has announced a package of targeted funding to support the arts and entertainment industry recover from the impact of COVID-19 over the next 12 months.

Valued at $250M, the package is structured in four streams and includes:

  • $75 million of capital funding to help production and event businesses put on new festivals, concerts, tours and events as social distancing restrictions ease. These are grants of between $75,000 and $2 million are available from next month;
  • $90 million in ‘show starter’ concessional loans to fund new productions and events that stimulate job creation and economic activity. The loans program will be delivered through commercial banks, backed by a 100 per cent Commonwealth guarantee;
  • $35 million in direct financial assistance to support Commonwealth-funded arts organisations to get them up and working;
  • $50 million fund to assist local screen production, both film and television. It will be administered by Screen Australia.

As part of JobMaker, the guidelines on applying will be released over the coming weeks. In short, much needed relief will flow to the entertainment, arts, film and television industries.

In a statement, Prime Minister Scott Morrison said the package would help the ‘show back on the road, to get their workers back in jobs.’

‘These measures will support a broad range of jobs from performers, artists and roadies, to front of house staff and many who work behind the scenes, while assisting related parts of the broader economy, such as tourism and hospitality,’ Morrison said.

‘This package is as much about supporting the tradies who build stage sets or computer specialists who create the latest special effects, as it is about supporting actors and performers in major productions,’ the Prime Minister continued.

A ministerial taskforce – Creative Economy Taskforce – will be established to guide the implementation of these funding programs, in partnership with the Australia Council. Guidelines to be released in the coming weeks.

Arts Minister Paul Fletcher said the package would deliver jobs and give creative and cultural experiences back to Australians.

‘These sectors have been hit hard during the pandemic, and the government’s investment will play an important role in the nation’s economic recovery,’ said Fletcher in a formal statement.

Read: What the arts sector says about the Fed Government’s $250M relief package

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