Independent Queensland artists and arts workers impacted by COVID-19, will receive financial relief with more than $700,000 in Palaszczuk Government stART grants recently awarded.
Minister for the Arts Leeanne Enoch said the sector has been impacted around the world by COVID-19, and the global economic headwinds it caused.
“Queensland’s continued health response means we have started to deliver our plan for economic recovery,” Minister Enoch said.
“Part of that means supporting jobs, which is why the stART grants program was designed as a rapid-response initiative, to ensure we get our independent arts workers back at work.
“To date, the Palaszczuk Government has committed to more than $42.5 million worth of measures to support the arts sector through COVID-19, which includes the $22.5 million Arts and Cultural Recovery Package.
“The Government has increased stART funding from $500,000 to more than $700,000 to widen support for artists and arts workers, in response to demand.
“stART will fund 213 recipients from all corners of the state for the development of arts and creative projects, producer services, technicians or fees and equipment purchase, supporting a range of jobs within this diverse industry.
“Developed by Arts Queensland, in close consultation with the local arts sector, the program offered $3000 grants to local independent creative practitioners, whose work has been reduced or ceased due to the pandemic.”
Arts Queensland engaged 10 delivery partners to distribute the stART grants to ensure independent creatives across the state could access these much-needed grants.
Partners included Regional Arts Services Network providers; Access Community Services through BEMAC, Crossroad Arts, Creative Arts Alliance, Empire Theatre, Red Ridge and Queensland Music Festival, along with Metro Arts, Placemakers* Gold Coast, and JUTE Theatre Company.
Minister Enoch said that QMusic has ensured state-wide music related applicants will benefit with 51 per cent of its stART funding shared beyond Brisbane to applicants from the Gold Coast, Central Queensland and as far north as Cape York and the Daintree.
“This delivery partner model is an innovative approach to promoting, assessing and dispersing funding,” Ms Enoch said.
“Partners have ensured this vital funding helps the creative independent sector, across multiple art-forms and communities.
“stART grants are just one of a range of new and existing programs aimed at sustaining and supporting Queensland’s vibrant arts and cultural sector through the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic.”
Crossroad Arts Artistic Director Alison Richardson said the organisation was thrilled with the quality of the applications.
“The high quality and diverse applications prove what a wealth of rich talent we have in regional Queensland, but also demonstrates the very real and immediate need there is to keep our artists, arts workers and creatives employed at such a challenging time,” Ms Richardson said.
“This injection of funds will enable many artists struggling at this time to continue working and creating opportunities not only for themselves but for the communities they reside in.”