NSW government announces $30M arts recovery package

Stage 2 of the NSW Government’s Rescue and Restart package will help the recovery of over 160 companies, says the Arts Minister.

NSW Minister for the Arts, Don Harwin, has announced his government will deliver $30.1 million through Stage 2 off the NSW Government’s Rescue and Restart package.

A date or roll out timeline was not provided, other than ‘soon’.

Harwin said: ‘With summer approaching and restrictions easing, the sector is restarting. Now is the time to provide a cash injection to encourage employment of artists, arts workers and creatives, develop new work, and support regional NSW through touring and other initiatives.’

The Rescue and Restart package was first announced in late May, with a promise of $50M delivered over two stages to the arts and culture sector. The first stage was geared to offset the impacts of temporary closures. This, the second stage, is aimed at enabling organisations to restart operations.

Harwin said that Stage 2 will ‘help the recovery of over 160 companies, which includes significant investment for 60 organisations across regional NSW, with more than $24.2 million in funding to immediately kickstart their programs.’

The Stage 2 funding allocation has focused on Create NSW multi-year and annually funded organisations, ‘as they have the greatest capacity to stimulate the not for profit arts and cultural sector’, Harwin’s office said in a statement.

Funding amounts are based on average turnover from 2018 and 2019 and are capped to a maximum of $750,000 per company to ensure a wide distribution of the available funds.

Harwin’s office noted that support for smaller organisations – some $1.5 million from Stage 1 funding – has already been allocated to help volunteer, community-based arts and cultural organisations remain operational with one-off grants of up to $5,000.

A new competitive funding round will open in the new year, with $1.75 million available to not-for-profit NSW arts and cultural organisations not otherwise eligible for funding under this package.

From the money announced this week, $2.5 million has been allocated to support sector specific initiatives, including contemporary music, literature and writing as well as to support a regional residency program for individual artists across a wide range of artforms.

More information, including guidelines and details on how to apply will be available on the Create NSW website in early 2021.

‘The NSW Government is committed to assisting the arts and culture sector to, not just survive, but thrive, following the devastating impact of COVID-19 and we continue to look at ways we can further drive recovery for the sector during these unprecedented times,’ Harwin concluded.

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