$90 million Budget promise to bolster the arts in Queensland

The Queensland Government has announced a $90 million investment in the art sector, in this week's Budget, as the state continues to recover from the pandemic.

More than $90 million will be invested in Queensland’s art sector to help drive economic recovery and create jobs, with the State’s 2021-22 Budget painting a hopeful picture for artists and art workers.

Following the Queensland Government’s announcement on Tuesday (15 June), Minister for Arts Leeanne Enoch said the investment will ensure the State emerges with strength to build back better than ever before.

‘The arts are key to delivering our plan for economic recovery, each year contributing $8.5 billion into the state’s economy and supporting more than 92,000 jobs for Queenslanders,’ Enoch said.

‘That is why we are continuing to provide vital support for the sector as the state continues to recover from the pandemic.’

Highlights of the Budget include:

  • $7 million in 2021-2022 for to support the sustainability of the state’s live music venues
  • $6 million over three years from 2022-23 for blockbuster funding to enable Queensland Art Gallery | Gallery of Modern Art to attract exclusive exhibitions to Queensland
  • $9.1 million over four years from 2021-21 for critical maintenance activities for the Queensland Museum Network
  • $13.125 million over four years from 2021-22 for the Arts Infrastructure Investment Fund to support priority infrastructure and revitalise existing state-owned arts and cultural facilities.

Extra funding for live music

An extra $7 million in funding will go towards Queensland’s live music industry, promising to support the sustainability of music venues around the state between 2021 and 2022. The Minister acknowledged that the sector had been doing it tough from the pandemic’s impact.

‘This funding will ensure the live music sector can continue to support Queensland talent and help to connect artists, audiences and communities across the state,’ said Enoch.

News of the funding follows on from the $1.3 million in live music venue support grants announced by Minister Enoch at the Queensland Music Awards in May, as well as stART grants and live music funding announced in 2020.

Read: Arts funding in an interconnected ecology

Embracing cultural tourism

Enoch said the 2021-22 Budget also reaffirmed the Government’s commitment to investing in key events that embrace cultural tourism.

A $6 million funding boost over three years from 2022-23 will go towards Queensland Art Gallery | Gallery of Modern Art to help bring exclusive, big-ticket, internationally-significant exhibitions to Queensland.

‘This is the funding that helped bring once-in-a-lifetime exhibitions to Queensland, such as the European Masterpieces from The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York,’ said Enoch.

The Palaszczuk Government’s blockbuster investment, together with support from Tourism and Events Queensland, for exclusive exhibitions has generated more than $85 million in the economy since 2016.

The Minister said that other key events supported include the World Science Festival with $9 million over the next three years.

‘As the only World Science Festival held outside of New York, this event has attracted audiences of more than 800,000 visitors in Brisbane, Toowoomba, Chinchilla, Townville and Mackay, and contributed more than $32 million to the Queensland economy.’ A number of cultural institutions partner with the festival to deliver programs.

Read: $6.8 million in RISE funding allocated to NSW and QLD arts orgs

Support for arts and cultural experiences

The State Budget also includes $6 million over four years from 2021-22, for the Regional Arts Services Network (RASN), which was established in 2018 as a new model in delivering arts services to empower arts and cultural experiences in regional communities.

‘This network has provided employment opportunities for artists and is growing career pathways,’ said Enoch.

‘Some of the signature cultural tourism projects that have emerged from this program include Trailblazing the West in Western Queensland and the Savannah Way Art Trail in Far North Queensland, which are transforming their regions through public art.’

Enoch concluded that the investment in Queensland’s art sector will ensure service delivery is enhanced across the state, supporting stability, driving recovery and connecting Queensland’s communities.

Giselle Bueti
About the Author
Giselle Bueti is a staff writer for ArtsHub.