Arts Industry Council of SA (AICSA) joins with the many arts organisations across Australia to acknowledge that the sector is going through an unprecedented crisis at this time.
On 11 March 2020 the World Health Organisation declared COVID-19 a pandemic and called for ‘urgent and aggressive action’. This action includes social distancing as a primary way to prevent rapid community transmission. The Australian Government has since advised that gatherings should be limited to 100 people, and additional travel restrictions and self-isolation measures are in place for people arriving from overseas.
The cancellation of events, festivals and gigs plus the closing of venues will have immediate and ongoing effect, especially on independent artists and the artists and arts workers who manage or work in spaces and events and those who rely on contracts and short term work in the sector.
We fully support and will be actively involved in the efforts by Theatre Network Australia, National Association for the Visual Arts and others, to secure emergency support assistance from federal and state governments.
Minister for Communications, Cyber Safety and the Arts, the Hon Paul Fletcher MP, convened a virtual roundtable on 17 March with leaders from across the creative industries to discuss the pandemic’s impact of the arts sector. The MInister has indicated that arts companies may access assistance, but details are yet to be announced. Read more on ArtsHub.
Following the meeting with Minister Fletcher, Live Performance Australia called for an $850 million stimulus package to save jobs in the arts sector.
The Australia Council has established an online resource and is consulting with the sector to identify the actions it can take to provide flexibility for those who have received Australia Council funding for activities that have been compromised or can no longer take place due to the COVID-19 outbreak. This includes options to vary funding agreements, and delivery and reporting timeframes.
A special national Meeting of Cultural Ministers is being held on Thursday 19 March 2020, to discuss the challenges posed for the sector, and responses at a national level.
AICSA invites our members and community to get in touch and let us know how you will be affected, it will be important to know the implications so that we can provide informed updates to Arts South Australia and the media. Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org
In a statement to the SA sector today, Premier Steven Marshall said it was “an unprecedented and challenging situation for the arts and cultural sector, and creative industries, in this state”. Arts South Australia is working with the sector and inviting innovative ideas of how to ensure the survival of arts and culture in this unprecedented global event.
WHAT YOU CAN DO
AICSA realises that many in the arts and culture sector will be impacted. Please look after yourself and follow government and health advisories.
– If you need advice the Melbourne-based Arts Wellbeing Collective has set up a free national Support Act Wellbeing Hotline, 1800 959 500, which is available 24/7 to anyone who works in the performing arts in Australia
– Record your loss of income with I Lost My Gig Australia. This supports the efforts of our national colleagues in advocating for an arts assistance package
– Take the health and safety of our community seriously, and practise social distancing, and self-isolation if you are unwell to slow the spread COVID-19 and follow advice from the Australian Dept of Health
As of Tuesday 17 March, only people who have recently travelled from overseas or have been in contact with a confirmed COVID-19 case and experienced symptoms within 14 days are advised to be tested
If you believe you may have contracted the virus, call your doctor, don’t visit, or contact the national Coronavirus Health Information Hotline on 1800 020 080
If you are struggling to breathe or experiencing a medical emergency, call 000
Coronavirus symptoms can range from mild illness to pneumonia, according to the Federal Government’s website, and can include a fever, coughing, sore throat, fatigue and shortness of breath