Sustainability funding will support Australian arts organisations

The Morrison Government will provide over $9 million of funding to support four leading Australian arts organisations heavily impacted by COVID-19.

The funding comes out of the $35 million COVID-19 Arts Sustainability Fund, which is designed to assist systemically significant Australian arts organisations which are judged to face a risk to their sustainability over the next 12 months due to COVID-19.

It is a requirement to receive funding that a recipient organisation is considered to have a good prospect of maintaining its viability - and has a clear plan to do so - if the funding is made available.

The National Institute of Dramatic Art, the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra, the Museum of Contemporary Art, and the Melbourne Art Foundation will collectively receive more than $9 million from the fund to support their continued operations.

All four organisations will continue to receive business as usual funding from the Australian Government of around $20 million collectively in 2021.

The Minister for Communications, Urban Infrastructure, Cities and the Arts, the Hon Paul Fletcher MP, said the funding will support recipients to continue operating during and beyond this period of severe disruption.

“A perverse consequence of the devastating COVID-19 driven downturn in arts activity is that some of the hardest hit organisations are those which have done the most, over many years, to diversify away from reliance on Government funding by developing significant alternative revenue streams.

“This factor has been recognised in choosing these four organisations to receive funding under the Sustainability Fund.”

The funding outcomes follow a thorough assessment process administered by the Office for the Arts, involving the Australia Council and independent financial assessor, the Infrastructure and Project Financing Agency.

In 2020 the Australian Government announced almost $800 million in additional arts and entertainment funding, on top of a record annual investment of around $750 million in core funding, and on top of more than $558 million provided to date through JobKeeper and $110 million provided in cash flow payments to businesses.

Authorised by the Hon Paul Fletcher MP, Minister for Communications, Urban Infrastructure, Cities and the Arts, Sydney.
The Sustainability Fund is still open and accepting applications. Applications will close on 31 May 2021 (5:00pm AEST), subject to allocation of funds.

Media contact:

Imre Salusinszky | 0432 535 737 | Imre.Salusinszky@communications.gov.au