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Over $30m to restart NSW arts and cultural organisations

Published: 8 November 2020
Released by: Minister of State

In major step towards recovery, the arts and culture sector will soon receive $30.1 million through the second stage of the NSW Government’s Rescue and Restart package. 

Minister for the Arts, Don Harwin said with the decline in the COVID-19 community transmission rate and the easing of restrictions, the focus of the NSW Government was now to stimulate the economy and drive recovery. 

“COVID-19 has had an enormous financial impact on the arts and culture sector. In the initial stage we worked to stabilise organisations in critical financial need as an unavoidable result of the restrictions which were necessary to ensure the safety of the community. The plan worked. No organisation failed.” Mr Harwin said.

“With summer approaching and restrictions easing, the sector is restarting. Now is the time to provide a cash injection to encourage employment of artists, arts workers and creatives, develop new work, and support regional NSW through touring and other initiatives.

“Through Stage 2 of the Rescue and Restart package we will be able to help the recovery of over 160 companies, which includes significant investment for 60 organisations across regional NSW, with more than $24.2 million in funding to immediately kickstart their programs”, Mr Harwin said.

“The NSW Government is committed to assisting the arts and culture sector to, not just survive, but thrive, following the devastating impact of COVID-19 and we continue to look at ways we can further drive recovery for the sector during these unprecedented times.”

The Stage 2 funding allocation has focused on Create NSW multi-year and annually funded organisations as they have the greatest capacity to stimulate the not for profit arts and cultural sector. Funding amounts are based on average turnover from 2018 and 2019 and capped to a maximum of $750,000 per company to ensure a wide funding distribution.

$2.5 million has been allocated to support sector specific initiatives, including contemporary music, literature and writing as well as to support a regional residency program for individual artists across a wide range of artforms.

A new competitive funding round will open in the new year, with $1.75 million available to not-for-profit NSW arts and cultural organisations not otherwise eligible for funding under this package. More information, including guidelines and details on how to apply will be available on the Create NSW website in early 2021.

To support smaller organisations during this challenging time, $1.5 million from Stage 1 funding has been allocated to help volunteer, community-based arts and cultural organisations remain operational with one-off grants of up to $5000.

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