$10.2 million new investment in survival and recovery

 The Arts Industry Council of South Australia (AICSA) warmly welcomes the Government of South Australia’s second package responding to the dramatic impact of COVID-19 on the state’s arts industry.

Gail Kovatseff, AICSA Chairperson said, “We are extremely pleased and heartened that the South Australian Government has responded to the needs and advice of the sector, consulting with both ourselves and others in the arts industry, to produce a progressive second package that invests both strategically and broadly in artists and arts organisations.”

AICSA recently made a case to the Government, as well as the Legislative Council of South Australia’s Budget and Finance Committee, that an additional $10 million needed to be invested into the arts and cultural sector in South Australia, in order to address key survival and recovery priorities and to bring South Australia’s response up to an equivalent per-capita investment with other states.

Priorities identified included: enabling artists to continue to make artistic works in South Australia through new grants programs and commissioning funds; assisting organisations, venues and festivals to confidently open and program South Australian artists across the state; and continuing to implement South Australia’s Arts and Culture Plan 2019-2024 with additional investment and a focus on employment.

Key elements of the Government’s second arts package announced today, include:

“This package is made up of around 50% direct investment and 50% contestable grants, a ratio we are pleased to see and that is different from some other state packages, such as in New South Wales. The investment is all new money and it will have a significant, positive impact on our sector”, said Ms Kovatseff.

The new $10.2 million package brings the total value of the South Australian Government’s new funding to the arts in 2020 to approximately $20 million, an impactful investment for the size of the state.

The package comes after last week’s announcement that the State Government will redevelop the heritage-listed Queen’s Theatre into a unique and flexible new performing arts space – and key recommendation of the SA Arts and Culture Plan 2019-2024, and a measure that the state’s arts sector has been seeking for many years.

“AICSA congratulates the Premier of South Australia Steven Marshall for this latest investment in South Australia’s arts sector, and also for his advocacy for the arts at the Federal level through both the Meeting of Cultural Ministers and the National Cabinet.”

“We believe that the inclusion of State support towards proposals to the Federal Government’s RISE fund, which requires co-investors, is a well-targeted and pointed intervention that could increase South Australia’s small-to-medium sector’s share in these grants.”

“We know from the response to the Government’s first arts package, which saw a large number of applications for COVID-19 relief, as well as ABS data and other evidence, that artists and artsworkers are doing it really tough right now but also that there is an enormous amount of creative work that has been happening in South Australia. This second package really backs the arts sector and its important role in South Australia’s community and economy.”

“We note that the South Australian arts sector continues to be very concerned by the implementation of JobKeeper federally, the precarity of individual artists, the position of Government-owned and statutory authority arts organisations, and the uncertain future we all continue to face.”

“AICSA will continue to advocate to and work with the State Government around the needs of the arts sector in South Australia as we all continue the process of COVID-19 safety, adaptation, and ensuring the arts sector’s survival and recovery”, said Ms Kovatseff.

AICSA will hold a webinar with the Premier and staff from Arts South Australia, the Department of the Premier and Cabinet, to brief our members further on the details of this latest package, on THURSDAY 1st OCTOBER at 4:30pm; further details to be announced.