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News January 15, 2021

Government injects $3.6 million into live 2021 projects

Senior Journalist, B2B
Government injects $3.6 million into live 2021 projects

Thirty arts tours will get a much-needed leg up this year as the federal government pledges to inject more than $3.6 million into a range of live projects.

The Morrison Government on Friday announced the money would be shared out through the latest rounds of two touring programs, Playing Australia: Regional Performing Arts Touring Fund and the Contemporary Music Touring Program.

“Live performance and touring are vital to the ongoing sustainability and vibrancy of Australian arts,” comments Minister for Communications, Urban Infrastructure, Cities and the Arts, Paul Fletcher MP, whose department unveiled the funding.

“The projects supported in this latest funding round will provide new opportunities for contemporary musicians and performers to resume performing and touring as we emerge from COVID-19, and will allow them to engage with audiences across Australia.”

In reality, the cash-splash represents just a drop in the ocean that is Australia’s live music landscape which, prior to COVID, was a billion-dollar-plus annual industry.

modern baseball performing at sydney venue Oxford Art Factory

Last September, the ALMBC published the findings of its first members study, which found 70 percent of respondents predicted closure within the next six months, based on cashflow, or rather lack thereof.

Almost three-quarters of its polled members experienced a slide in revenue of 75-100 per cent in the months following March, when the health crisis forced the closure of venues across the country.

The government’s latest handout won’t be nearly enough to prop-up a damaged live sector and remove uncertainty. But it’s a start.

Certainly, it’s a boost for the Bangarra Dance Theatre Company, which is one of the largest grant recipients with almost $500,000 in funding.

With support from Canberra, the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander organisation will tour their work ‘SandSong’ to eight venues in regional WA and NT.

Also, the federal Government has announced almost $400,000 to support a series of six national strategic projects under the Regional Arts Fund, which last year received an extra $10 million due to the health pandemic, in addition to its regular funding of about $3.5 million.

In 2020-21, the Australia Council is expected to receive funding of about $214.9 million to support artists, projects and arts organisations.

For more information about the Regional Arts Fund visit www.arts.gov.au.

And for the full list of successful recipients, and for information on when the next grant round closes, visit the Australia Council website.

This article originally appeared on The Industry Observer, which is now part of The Music Network.

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