The Government is delivering substantial economic measures, which include support for workers and organisations in the cultural and creative sector.
The Government announced a $250 million package on 25 June 2020 to support artists and organisations to get back in business following the disruptions caused by COVID-19.
The COVID-19 Creative Economy Support Package addresses urgent needs within the sector and complements existing whole-of-economy support and assistance measures already in place.
More than 25,000 people in the creative and performing arts received a JobKeeper payment in April, with total payments of $76.1 million. As of early June, cashflow support from the Government totalled more than $23 million to the businesses in the creative and performing arts.
The package also builds on the $27 million targeted support package announced by the Government on 9 April, providing dedicated financial support to Indigenous visual art centres, regional arts and the live music and performance industry.
In total, the Government has now provided $277 million of additional support to the cultural and creative sector in 2020.
The COVID-19 Creative Economy Support Package comprises:
- Seed Investment to Reactivate Productions and Tours—$75 million in competitive grant funding in 2020-21 through the Restart Investment to Sustain and Expand (RISE) Fund. This program will provide capital to help production and event businesses to put on new festivals, concerts, tours and events as social distancing restrictions ease, including through innovative operating and digital delivery models. Grants of varying sizes will be available, from $75,000 through to $2 million.
- Show Starter Loans—$90 million in concessional loans to assist creative economy businesses to fund new productions and events that stimulate job creation and economic activity. The loans program will complement the RISE Fund and will be delivered through commercial banks, backed by a 100 per cent Commonwealth guarantee.
- Kick-starting Local Screen Production—$50 million for Screen Australia for a Temporary Interruption Fund that will support local film and television producers to secure finance and start filming again, which will support thousands of jobs in the sector. Filming of new productions has largely been halted as insurers are not providing coverage for COVID-19.
- Supporting Sustainability of Sector-Significant Organisations—$35 million to provide direct financial assistance to support significant Commonwealth-funded arts and culture organisations facing threats to their viability due to COVID-19, which may include organisations in fields including theatre, dance, circus, music and other fields. The Government will partner with the Australia Council to deliver this funding.
- Creative Economy Taskforce—establishment of a ministerial taskforce to partner with the Government and the Australia Council to implement the JobMaker plan for the creative economy.
Following the successful development of guidelines to safely reopen our National Collecting Institutions and the world-class COVID-Safe Guidelines developed by the Australian Screen Sector Task Force to support and assist the screen production sector, the Government is also working with the Australia Council to develop a broader roadmap to reopen for the arts and entertainment sector to protect the public and workers.
In coming weeks, the guidelines for the grant and loan programs will be released and the members of the Creative Economy Taskforce will be announced.