Government is ‘moving ahead’ with $250m JobMaker plan, announces guidelines on live music restart funding
The Morrison government has finally unveiled details of its $75 million fund to help “reactivate” the arts and entertainment sector, and launched round one of its Live Music Australia program, drawn up to support live music venues as performers and punters and return to the gig circuit.
The arts minister Paul Fletcher today publishes guidelines for the $75 million Restart Investment to Sustain and Expand (RISE) Fund, part of the federal government’s quarter- billion dollar COVID-19 Creative Economy Support Package for the creative economy, announced June 25 following months of negotiations on a bailout with the music industry.
“We’re moving ahead with our $250 million Jobmaker plan for Australia’s creative economy,” Fletcher tweeted Tuesday.
The RISE fund is meant to supply seed funding to arts organisations, companies and promoters to fund new shows with grants of between $75,000 and $2 million made available.
We’re moving ahead with our $250m JobMaker plan for Australia’s creative economy. Guidelines are now out for the $75m RISE Fund and the $35m Arts Sustainability Fund. Applications open from 31 August. Let’s get those shows back on the road! More here: https://t.co/aPc14o0mPx— Paul Fletcher (@PaulFletcherMP) August 11, 2020
These grants, Fletcher says, “will allow the arts sector (to) reactivate, re-imagine and create new cultural experiences, including innovative operating and digital delivery models. This will help keep artists, performers, roadies, front of house staff and all those who work behind the scenes employed.”
The RISE and the previously-announced $35 million Arts Sustainability Fund will open from 31st August. 2020 and applications can be made until 5pm AEST on 31st May 2021.
To find out more visit www.arts.gov.au/covid-19-update.
Also, Fletcher’s department launches round one of its $20 million Live Music Australia program, which will deliver $5 million annually over four years, with each of the two rounds per year providing $2.5 million.
There will be a “particular focus on small to medium-sized venues,” explains Fletcher, “which provide professional staging for quality original Australian live music both to support emerging talent and provide established musicians a setting to reconnect with their fans.”
The program, part of the Government’s $30.9 million Australian Music Industry Package, unveiled in March 2019, will help venues “bring back the music,” reads a statement issued Tuesday from Canberra.
“Along with many Australians, I can’t wait to see our musos back on stage doing their thing,” comments Fletcher, whose government placed the multi-billion-dollar live entertainment sector into a deep freeze in March to counter the health crisis. “This country has long had a vibrant live music scene and we want it back as soon as public health requirements allow.”
For more information about Live Music Australia visit arts.gov.au/contemporary-music and to apply for Live Music Australia funding visit http://arts.gov.au/funding-and-support/live-music-australia.
Applications close at 11.59pm AEST on 13th September, 2020.
It would appear the government has listened to its critics.
Today’s announcements are the first whiff of activity in the six weeks since the government’s first, major announcement. Just Last week, the country’s leadership was blasted for its “all-talk, no-action” stance.
“This government was dragged kicking and screaming into announcing a package for the arts after stubbornly insisting – for more than 100 days – that there was no need for it,” said Labor’s arts spokesman, Tony Burke.
“While Scott Morrison and Paul Fletcher have moved on to other things, Australia’s creative workers don’t even know whether they are eligible to apply for grants or concessional loans.”
Speaking on the package, the first assistant secretary for the arts Stephen Arnott last week confirmed it would take at least “eight to 12 weeks” after the funding guidelines were published before the cash would trickle down to those who need it most.
Confirmation of the funding follows the June 10 publication of an Open Letter on 10 June signed by over 1,200 artists, professionals, businesses in the music industry calling on government to provide a financial lifeline.
This article originally appeared on The Industry Observer, which is now part of The Music Network.