The Australian Ballet and the National Institute of Dramatic Arts will receive $6.5 million from the Morrison Government’s $50 million COVID-19 Arts Sustainability Fund, to support their ongoing viability following the impacts of the pandemic.
The Government’s decision to commit $4.5 million to The Australian Ballet comes after the company’s recent announcement that uncertainty about state border restrictions and theatre capacities has required it to cancel its last two Sydney Opera House productions for 2021.
Minister for Communications, Urban Infrastructure, Cites and the Arts, the Hon Paul Fletcher MP, said the funding will provide a lifeline to these major arts employers and will support their continued operations following the ongoing impacts of COVID-19.
“The Australian Ballet and the National Institute of Dramatic Arts are leading arts organisations, supporting accomplished and emerging artists, industry educators and leaders to succeed within our arts sector – but under current health orders they cannot hold live performances or deliver education and training in the performing arts,” Minister Fletcher said.
“The Morrison Government’s objective in providing the $50 million Sustainability Fund is to support systemically significant major arts companies, so they can reach the end of the pandemic and return to normal operations.”
“As the vaccine rollout continues and states and territories open up, we want to see venue doors thrown open to audiences; we want to see the curtains going up; and we want to see performers coming on stage to a welcoming roar of applause.”
Member of the Creative Economy Taskforce and Chief Executive Officer of Creative Partnerships Australia, Ms Fiona Menzies, said the Fund is crucial to sustaining the arts and entertainment sector while it continues to overcome the devastating ripple effects caused by the pandemic.
“We are committed to ensuring the nation’s leading arts organisations have a plan for recovery, and this funding is providing the momentum and support the sector needs to re-emerge when it is safe to do so,” Ms Menzies said.
More than $37 million has now been allocated under the Fund to support 14 leading arts organisations across the country, including the Museum of Contemporary Art, Queensland Ballet and Melbourne Theatre Company. Almost $13 million remains available in the Fund.
The Morrison Government is investing more than $1 billion into the arts and creative sector in 2021-22.