Funding for the Arts in the Time of Crisis
Funding for the Arts in the Time of Crisis
This email seeks to provide a handy guide to financial assistance which is being made available by the Federal, State, and some municipal governments and as well as by individual funding bodies for the general public and for the creative industries in particular.
With all the extraordinary amount of information virtually changing before our eyes, we thought it a good idea to combine these resources into one handy guide.
As premier accountants to the arts and culture sector, we have become only too keenly aware of the deleterious effect of the COVID-19 on the creative industries.
The closure of galleries and postponement of art fairs has impacted directly the livelihood of visual artists. While we commend art galleries on moving their operations online, we have also become aware that their efforts have been stymied by the interstate border closures and suspension of specialist art transport services. This, in turn, has disrupted deliveries of artworks between artists, galleries, and art buyers. We are also aware that gallery closures have had an impact on all ancillary services, including writers, framers, photographers, installation crews, and so forth. Suspension of exhibitions and visual art events is also impacting the livelihood or art periodicals, both printed and digital, which rely on funding from advertising revenues.
In a similar vein, the performing arts sector has been equally affected. The closure of theatres and art centres, and cancellation of performing art festivals have impacted the livelihood of performers. Once again, while we salute actors and musicians, who are making their performances available to the public through digital channels, we are aware that the entire crews who are usually tasked with the seamless delivery of performances, from lighting and sound specialists to ushers and box office attendants, are also experiencing financial hardship.
In our previous missives, we have outlined the following general measures of financial assistance offered by the Federal Government to weather this difficult period:
- The Federal Government’s Stimulus Package which offers supplements to those individuals and households who are already on Centrelink benefits; and cash flows for employers: https://www.lowensteins.com.au/news-resources/blog/federal-government-stimulus-package-no2
- A summary of financial assistance offered by individual state governments, which include reliefs and deferrals for annual tax liabilities, rent relief, and waving of certain government fees: https://www.lowensteins.com.au/news-resources/blog/state-government-response-covid-19
- Early access to superannuation and temporary reduction of the drawdown requirements: https://www.lowensteins.com.au/news-resources/blog/covid-19-superannuation-changes
- Links for a comprehensive information on JobSeeker and the JobKeeper packages:
In addition to the financial assistance, which has been made available by Federal and State governments to the general public, we have also scoured the net to draw your attention to funding which is being made available progressively by state and municipal governments, targeted specifically at the creative industries.
- The offer of $8 million funding relief from the Queensland Government for the arts and culture sector, which includes ongoing funding to current grant recipients; rent relief to government tenants; and measures for individual workers: https://www.artshub.com.au/news-article/news/covid-19/richard-watts/queensland-announces-8m-relief-fund-for-coronavirus-arts-emergency-260018;
- A sluice of grants and other initiatives for art organisations from the governments of South Australia and the ACT: https://www.artshub.com.au/news-article/news/covid-19/richard-watts/states-step-up-with-funding-aid-as-coronavirus-impact-spreads-260075;
- $3.5 million in funding initiatives offered by the Government of Tasmania to the arts and culture sector, on top of $20 million support grants program for businesses in a variety of industries: https://www.artshub.com.au/news-article/news/covid-19/visual-arts-writer/city-of-sydney-passes-35m-support-package-and-tas-pledges-2m-for-cultural-sector-260104
- $2 million worth of grants for artists and creative organisations released by the City of Melbourne: https://www.artshub.com.au/news-article/news/covid-19/staff-writer/city-of-melbourne-pledges-2m-to-artist-grants-260085;
- $3.5 million allocated by the City of Sydney specifically to support cultural and creative organisations: https://www.artshub.com.au/news-article/news/covid-19/visual-arts-writer/city-of-sydney-passes-35m-support-package-and-tas-pledges-2m-for-cultural-sector-260104.
We have just learned about the additional funding of $375,000 offered by the Copyright Agency to support the arts and culture sector: https://www.artshub.com.au/news-article/news/covid-19/brooke-boland/additional-375000-in-grants-for-creators-announced-260149
Last but not least, we will be bringing you shortly details of funding initiatives from the Australia Council.
Subscribe to our newsletters and follow us on Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn to stay up to date with our reports on the general and industry-specific financial support measures and funding initiatives in there trying times.
And remember – we are always only a phone call or an email away.
Dr. Eugene Barilo Von Reisberg
With permission from ArtsHub