ArtKeeper program puts artists on payroll

An arts organisation trialing an employment scheme for artists hopes it gives stability and new directions in uncertain times.

There’s no doubt the Federal Government’s JobKeeper program gave countless Australian workers a vital 12 month lifeline during COVID. In the arts, it meant companies could keep staff on the payroll and survive a time that would otherwise have shut them down for good.

But others – like freelance artists – missed out on this support, and struggled to make it through those crisis times.

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ArtsHub's Arts Feature Writer Jo Pickup is based in Perth. An arts writer and manager, she has worked as a journalist and broadcaster for media such as the ABC, RTRFM and The West Australian newspaper, contributing media content and commentary on art, culture and design. She has also worked for arts organisations such as Fremantle Arts Centre, STRUT dance, and the Aboriginal Arts Centre Hub of WA, as well as being a sessional arts lecturer at The Western Australian Academy of Performing Arts (WAAPA).