AICSA congratulates State Government for COVID-19 initiatives and calls for Federal action

The South Australian Government has announced an immediate package to support the arts and cultural sector in South Australia as it copes with the unprecedented impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The package, valued at $1.5million, includes:

New grant programs

INNOVATING PRACTICE and CREATIVE ENDEAVOUR grants will provide independent artists immediate financial support of up to $10,000 to purchase, hire or upgrade technology and equipment, undertake professional development, and continue creative practice in whatever form that may take. With applications due Tuesday 31 March both these grants require very simple information from the applicant.

ARTS ORGANISATIONS COLLABORATIONS grants of up to $100,000 for major arts and cultural organisations, the small-to-medium sector and independent artists, for projects that support employment and collaboration. This initiative stipulates that independent artists and smaller organisations will be the primary financial beneficiaries, with major organisations contributing in-kind resources and organisational capacity. Applications close 5pm Tuesday, 14 April 2020.

In addition, supplementary funding will be offered to organisations funded through the Arts Organisations Program, contributing to covering losses and maintaining employment.

Flexibility: Arts South Australia has been empowered by the SA Government to provide maximum flexibility to the sector including repurposing existing funding agreements, enabling contracts with arts workers to be honoured, providing fast tracked funds and reducing administrative burdens.

Mental Health: The South Australian Government has made a $50,000 donation to Support Act, who operate a 24/7 Wellbeing Helpline for Australian arts workers.

AICSA welcomes these initiatives and congratulates the Premier and the Arts South Australia team for ensuring that these investments are focused on individual and independent artists, and on maintaining and encouraging employment.

The mental health effects of the impact of COVID-19 are extremely serious and the SA Government’s donation to Support Act can set an example to other State and Federal agencies on the need to support specific, sector-run initiatives for supporting the wellbeing of artists and other arts workers.

AICSA continues to join with our national colleagues in seeking specific arts measures from the Federal Government including new investment in the Australia Council and investment in Support Act and Artist’ Benevolent Fund.

While AICSA is pleased with the South Australian State Government response – and we look forward to working with the SA Government on further initiatives and investments in the medium and longer term – only the Federal Government can provide the level of investment required to ensure a future for arts and culture in Australia, including South Australia.

Visit the DPC website for further information about the SA Government’s COVID-19 Arts Grants Support and details about how to make an application.