Australia pledges 250m to help arts recover from COVID-19

The Australian Government has pledged AUD250m (€153m) to help the arts sector recover from the COVID-19 crisis. The money for the so-called JobMaker programme breaks down as follows:

  • AUD75 million in grants of AUD75,000 to AUD2m for independent producers and companies to stage festivals, concerts, tours and other events.
  • AUD90m million of guaranteed loans for state-funded arts and culture organisations to fund new productions and events.
  • AUD50m in grants to help local film and television producers secure finance and restart filming and production.
  • AUD35 million in grants for state-funded arts and culture organisations facing threats to their viability because of the pandemic disruption.

“An investment in the arts is a smart investment in recovery: creativity-led productivity fuels our economy and our social fabric,” said Australia Council CEO Adrian Collette. “Arts and culture are major drivers for tourism, both domestic and international. They boost the hospitality sector. They underpin the vitality of our cities and regions, and the perception of Australia internationally.”

Groups including Live Performance Australia and the National Association of the Visual Arts have released statements praising the deal. However, the Media, Entertainment & Arts Alliance said that the package, “ignores the thousands of arts workers who have been without work for months and need immediate income support.”

Guidelines for the grant and loan programmes will be released in the coming weeks.