Federal Government releases guidelines for $75 million RISE fund

The Minister for Communications, Cyber Safety and the Arts, will have the final say on which Restart Investment to Sustain and Expand grants will be approved.

Guidelines for the Morrison Government’s $75 million Restart Investment to Sustain and Expand (RISE) fund – part of the $250 million arts survival package announced in June – were released on Tuesday.

Designed to help reactivate the arts and cultural sector in the wake of COVID-19, the RISE fund will support new events, activities and productions that require significant capital investment.

Funding will only be made available to projects that are ‘likely to be popular with Australian audiences,’ the guidelines state.

RISE grant applications will be assessed by staff from the Department of Infrastructure, Transport, Regional Development and Communications.

Such officials may seek input and advice about applications from the Australia Council for the Arts or the members of the Morrison Government’s Creative Economy Taskforce, who are yet to be appointed.

Paul Fletcher MP, the Minister for Communications, Cyber Safety and the Arts, will decide which grants to approve (taking into account recommendations by the Department).

The funding pool will be allocated in grants of $75,000 to $2 million, through smaller and larger amounts ‘may be considered on a case-by-case basis, particularly for activities that target audiences in outer metropolitan, regional and remote areas.’

Individual artists and writers are ineligible for RISE funding unless they are a sole trader with employees.

‘The RISE Fund will provide grants of between $75,000 and $2 million to help restart activities such as festivals, concerts, tours and events once it is safe to do so,’ Fletcher said.

‘The grants will allow the arts sector reactivate, re-imagine and create new cultural experiences, including innovative operating and digital delivery models. This will help keep artists, performers, roadies, front of house staff and all those who work behind the scenes employed.

‘I encourage eligible organisations across Australia to familiarise themselves with the RISE Fund guidelines ahead of applications opening later this month to help bring arts and entertainment back to Australian audiences,’ he said.

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The Government is also preparing to release guidelines for the $35 million Arts Sustainability Fund to provide direct financial assistance to support Commonwealth-funded arts and culture organisations facing threats to their viability due to COVID-19.

‘The Arts Sustainability Fund will provide targeted support to sector-significant organisations across areas such as theatre, dance, circus, music and other fields which are facing immediate threats to their continuing financial viability,’ said Fletcher.

‘Australia’s creative and cultural sector is an important component of Australia’s economy, generating $112 billion a year and stimulating activity in adjacent sectors such as tourism and hospitality. Having a strong creative and cultural sector will be important in rebuilding the economy following COVID-19.’

Applications for grants under these two funds will be open from 31 August 2020 and applications can be made through until 31 May 2021 (5:00pm AEST).

Members of the Creative Economy Taskforce and guidelines for the $50 million Temporary Interruption Fund (TIF) guidelines are expected to be announced in the coming weeks.

The terms of the $90 million loan scheme – also announced in June – are said to be in advanced development.

To read the RISE guidelines visit the Office for the Arts.

Performing Arts Editor
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