Queensland Govt outlines new COVID-19 arts recovery funding
The Queensland Government has announced the latest round of funding for the state’s arts sector, with $22.5 million pledged in total.
The latest part of the Arts and Cultural Recovery Package aims to help create jobs for artists and arts organisations, as revealed by Arts Minister Leeanne Enoch.
“The Arts and Cultural Recovery Package has so far provided $2.03 million to the sector, with almost $10 million due to be distributed by the end of the month to support the employment of artists, the reactivation of venues and to provide COVID-safe arts experiences,” Enoch said.
The package includes almost $360,000 made available to 18 venues as part of the Live Music Venue Support program.
“The Live Music Venue Support program works to offset the cost of re-opening in the wake of COVID-19, ensuring the venues continue to employ staff and engage local artists,” the minister said.
Meanwhile an additional $380,000 will support the costs of live performances as part of the Creative to Go program.
24 projects and 241 artists will receive funding as part of the program, to help them perform live and partake in engagement activities in regional venues.
Casey Barnes is one artist to receive a grant, and he’ll use $17,883 for his Town of a Million Dreams tour.
“Back at the start of 2020 we had prepared an extensive national tour to coincide with the release of my latest album Town of A Million Dreams which included a number of different states, festivals and venues,” Barnes said.
“Sadly as we now know, along came a global pandemic which heavily impacted on the tour and how we could go about it.
“The overall goal is to use this tour to help build on this momentum into 2021 to support even more touring next year once restrictions are hopefully eased and we can start playing at some larger festivals.”
Finally, an additional $812,635 has been provided as part of Play Local for 52 live music and performing arts venues.
“Since the onset of COVID-19, the Palaszczuk Government has invested more than $42.5 million, including a $22.5 million Arts and Cultural Recovery Package, to sustain our arts sector, drive new creative work, employ artists and arts workers, and deliver rich, COVID-safe arts experiences for Queenslanders,” Enoch added.
The funding announcement coincides with the news that Queensland music festival Country On Keppell will still take place this November.
The festival, hosted on Great Keppel Island, has been forced to cancel its interstate headliners, and instead announced an alternative all-Queensland lineup.
That includes Matt Cornell, James Blundell and Brad Butcher.
“It’s always exciting being involved with a new festival,” Cornell said.
“Country On Keppel is only in its second year and held in such a unique setting – who wouldn’t want to head to an island, drink cocktails, listen to country music and hang out with likeminded people?”