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Funding announced for Play Local and the first Creative to Go projects

Play Local and Creative to Go will see home-grown performers set to hit stages across the state with over $965,000 in funding as part of the first outcomes from the $22.5 million Arts and Cultural Recovery package.

Play Local funding of $812,635 will assist 52 live music and performing arts venues throughout the state to host performances by Queensland acts and artists. This funding will directly support jobs for almost 1,500 artists and arts workers, and will support the employment of hundreds of venue staff including venue management, technicians and bar staff.

Venues receiving Play Local funding range from bars in Brisbane that showcase original live music by local artists to shire halls and theatres in regional Queensland programming circus and comedy performances. This includes The Zoo, The Triffid, the Old Museum and The Tivoli in Brisbane along with regional venues such as the Kuranda Amphitheatre in Far North Queensland, and councils including Barcoo Regional Council in western Queensland for performances at its shire hall and multi-purpose centre.

The Empire Theatre in Toowoomba will receive $20,000 through Play Local to present Queensland Ballet’s production of 60/60 during the Carnival of Flowers, while the Met Hotel will present local musicians in a series of performances with funding of $19,500.

Empire Theatres General Manager Kerry Saul welcomed the opportunity for both the live arts and tourism in the region, especially after many events were cancelled due to Covid-19.

“Empire Theatre has completed a successful reopening season commencing in July thanks to the support of Arts Queensland and the Queensland Government’s venue pilot program.  Local and regional artists have been paid and our patrons have been very keen to return,” Mr Saul said

“As a delivery partner through the Regional Arts Services Network we also administered Arts Queensland’s stART Grants Program for the South West Region, distributing $30,000 to local and regional artists, and we are now able to offer our patrons the opportunity to once again attend Queensland Ballet at The Empire Theatre thanks to the Play Local Fund.

“Support from the Queensland Government through Arts Queensland has been essential to allow The Empire Theatre to operate in any capacity and we look forward to providing more opportunities for our arts workers and artists over the coming months,” he said.

As at 20 August, Creative to Go will support 10 projects and almost 100 artists with $153,344 in funding to offset the costs of delivering live performances and engagement activities in regional venues across the state.

A collective approach by local councils, supported by Queensland touring specialists arTour, means that groups like Flipside Circus and the Funny Mummies will both be taking their shows on the road to regional and remote communities such as Julia Creek, Winton, Stonehenge and Quilpie.

Creative To Go will provide $17,840 to support a Young at Heart COVID recovery concert series featuring songs and stories based on true events and personal accounts of families from Queensland's farming history. 

Creative Regions Ltd has also secured Creative to Go funding of $18,059 for Delta Divas, a touring cabaret production of music from the 60s, celebrating anthems from artists such as Helen Reddy, Dusty Springfield and The Supremes, which will tour to Bundaberg, Monto, Proston and Childers in September.

This investment builds on Queensland Government support of almost $200,000 that successfully enabled the Empire Theatre and five other venues state wide to participate in a Venue Pilot Program to trial COVID-safe reopenings and programming in July.

For all funding recipients go to: Play Local recipients and Creative To Go recipients