The Palaszczuk Government’s new $22.5 million Arts and Cultural Recovery Package (announced on Tuesday 16 June) includes a raft of initiatives designed to strengthen the sector’s foundations, drive new creative work, and generate employment for artists and arts workers.
The package includes:
- $11.3 million to stabilise the state’s live music and performing arts organisations and venues;
- $4.2 million to fund a pipeline of live music and performing arts events, including a First Nations Commissioning fund and support for projects by independent artists and organisations;
- $4.15 million to support alternative venues, digital delivery, infrastructure for small to medium arts organisations, and social impact project support; and,
- $2.9 million for partnerships with local councils, venues, artists, festivals and organisations to support local employment and unique arts experiences.
Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk said the funding – included in the second stage of the Unite and Recover for Queensland Jobs plan – was a significant investment in the future of Queensland’s arts sector and the renewed cultural and economic development of the state.
The funding package is also designed to support COVID-safe cultural experiences for Queensland audiences.
‘With this new investment, my Government has now committed more than $42.5 million in funding since the onset of COVID-19 restrictions in March, including more than $20 million in relief measures already being implemented to assist the arts sector,’ Palaszczuk said.
The new funding program is intended to boost jobs through the creation of a pipeline of live and local music and other performing arts experiences, including a focus on Queensland’s independent artists.
‘Importantly it ensures the activation of our venues and helps the arts sector move past the economic impacts of COVID-19,’ said Palaszczuk.
‘Our arts, cultural and creative sector has shown ingenuity and hope, so we’re continuing to support them in finding new ways to connect and inspire us.’
HOW THE FUNDING WILL BE USED
Minister for the Arts Leeanne Enoch said this latest recovery package will enable the sector to continue to stabilise, innovate and adapt, and also explore alternative venues, online delivery, and the digital marketplace.
‘It will provide enhanced support for arts companies and festivals to maintain connections with audiences, keep artists and arts workers employed, and provide audiences the opportunity to reconnect with shared arts experiences,’ Enoch explained.
‘Funding will also support the ethical distribution of First Nations arts product through a digital marketplace, expanded sale channels and investing in the growth of the Indigenous Arts Centre (IAC) network.’
As well as the sector’s ability to drive cultural tourism and create employment opportunities, Enoch highlighted the role of the arts in supporting positive mental health and wellbeing, as well as assisting in other fields such as education and community recovery.
These benefits of artistic endeavour would be all the more important as Queensland emerges from the uncertainty of the COVID-19 era, Enoch said, adding that investment in the sector would benefit local communities as well as the state as a whole.
‘Queenslanders will be able to engage in arts and culture through the activation of local venues and creative spaces, including infrastructure support that offers unique outdoor experiences,’ she said.
‘This funding injection will provide the sector with greater financial certainty so that it can emerge with strength to further bolster Queensland’s economic and social recovery efforts.’