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Arts and Cultural Recovery Package

The Queensland Government announced (16 June 2020) a new $22.5 million two-year Arts and Cultural Recovery Package for Queensland’s arts and cultural sector as part of Queensland’s Economic Recovery Strategy: Stage Two.

The Arts and Cultural Recovery Package includes a range of measures to strengthen the sector’s foundations for the future, drive new creative work, employ artists and arts workers, retain our skilled and talented creatives, and importantly, ensure the activation of our venues.

The two-year investment is being rolled out in a suite of funding programs, Expressions of Interest, and procurement processes.

Investment update

As at October 2020, the following investment has been announced

  • Creative to Go: Funding of $452,338 to support 28 recipients in delivering live performances and engagement activities in regional venues.

  • Live Music Venue Support: Funding of $413,862 for 21 live music venues.

  • Play Local: Investment of $812,635 to 52 live music and performing arts venues to host performances by Queensland acts and artists

  • Digital Adaptation Fund: Funding of $677,383 to support 52 projects to create and deliver digital programming

  • Youth and Arts Pathway: Funding of $376,924 for 8 projects to attract and retain young people within the sector.

  • Queensland Arts Showcase Program: Round 1 will fund 15 projects with $642,249 to support vibrant and accessible arts and cultural experiences. 

  • Strategic Infrastructure Fund: Funding of $755,544 for 5 projects to support facility upgrades and infrastructure projects.

  • Indigenous Art Centre (IAC) Launch: Support 3 IACs with funding of $340,000 over two-years.

  • First Night Showcase – Judith Wright Arts Centre: Funding of $295 332 to support 11 recipients to develop and present new works at Judith Wright Arts Centre.  

  • First Night Showcase – Bulmba-ja: Funding of $262,422 to support 8 recipients to develop and present new work at Bulmba-ja arts centre, Cairns. 

  • Open Air: Funding of $1,049,832 to support the activation of 16 projects in outdoor and non-traditional settings to deliver of a program of works by artists and arts organisations in these spaces.

  • First Nations Commissioning Fund: Support for 19 projects with funding of $836 781 to deliver uniquely Queensland Indigenous stories, arts and cultural experiences, products and celebrations.  

  • Indigenous Art Centre Uplift: Funding of $610,000 to 14 Indigenous Art Centres to support sustained practice and revenue opportunities during the COVID-19 recovery period.

  • $350,000 to support the Queensland Performing Arts Centre's (QPAC) Queensland’s Own presentation series from September until December 2020 with productions from Queensland Theatre, Circa, Queensland Ballet, Queensland Symphony Orchestra and Opera Queensland.

  • $130,000 to invest in audio visual equipment in the Cremorne Theatre at QPAC, which will enable small to medium arts companies to broadcast to audiences across the State, and the Club Cremorne and Green Jam program will further bolster artist employment and audience engagement.

About the Arts and Cultural Recovery Package

Announced in June 2020, the Arts and Cultural Recovery Package includes: 


$11.3 million to assist in offsetting revenue losses and stabilise businesses in our live music and performing arts organisations and venues.

Support and programs include:

  • Live Music Venue Support: Supporting Queensland-based live music venues with a track record in presenting original live music that have been significantly impacted by COVID-19.
  • Recovery Funding: a package of four funding programs to help stabilise arts organisations, Major Performing Arts Organisations, key festivals and independent organisations.
  • Indigenous Art Centre Uplift: support for Indigenous Arts Centres currently supported through Arts Queensland’s Backing Indigenous Arts Program 
  • Indigenous Art Centre Launch Fund: two-year funding program available to Queensland based established Indigenous Art Centres that are already engaged in supporting First Nations artists and arts workers in professional visual arts practice.
  • Strategic Infrastructure Fund: limited-life matched funding program that will support not for profit arts and cultural organisations with their shovel-ready facility upgrades and infrastructure projects that have broad benefit across a range of partners or the arts and cultural sector.


$4.2 million to fund a pipeline of performing arts and live music to support our cultural and tourism recovery

Funding for live music and performing arts venues, organisations and artists to assist in offsetting the cost of developing new arts products or presenting artists’ work during the COVID-19 pandemic recovery. Programs include:

  • Play Local: supporting live music and performing arts venues to program Queensland artists, and support the employment of artists, organisations and arts workers.
  • First Nations Commissioning Fund: For Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander arts and cultural practitioners, organisations, collectives or communities to commission and deliver uniquely Queensland Indigenous stories, arts and cultural experiences, products and celebrations.
  • First Night Showcase Bulmba-ja: Supporting independent artists and organisations based in Queensland to develop and present new works at Bulmba-ja arts centre (Cairns)
  • First Night Showcase Judith Wright Arts Centre: Supporting independent artists, early career artists and arts organisations based in Queensland to develop and present new works at the Judith Wright Arts Centre, Fortitude Valley.


$4.15 million to support audience and market access

As the COVID-19 pandemic has required a number of organisations and artists to rethink how they engage with audiences and grow new markets, grant programs will be available to support the following activities:

  • Open Air: support the activation of outdoor and non-traditional settings and the production and delivery of a program of works by artists and arts organisations in these spaces.
  • Youth and Arts Pathways: dedicated support for young people in the arts – a program focussed on attracting and retaining young people interested in, or establishing a career in the arts
  • Digital Adaptation: support to increase the development of digital performances that increase reach across Queensland and enhance audience experiences.

New distribution channel support

Arts Queensland has received funding to support the development of a digital marketplace to enable the distribution of the State’s high quality, ethically produced visual arts created by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander artists.  

The digital marketplace will be complemented by shopfronts that will distribute ethically produced First Nations arts and craft products in Brisbane and Cairns.  

Arts Queensland will be seeking partners for the delivery of these activities and an expression of interest will be released later this year.

The Queensland Government will also invest in digital theatre infrastructure in the Judith Wright Arts Centre (Brisbane) and Bulmba-ja Arts Centre (Cairns) to provide access for artists to record, stream and produce digital works.


$2.9 million to support partnerships with local councils, venues, artists, festivals and organisations to continue employment and provide unique experiences across Queensland

The arts provides opportunity for local residents and visitors to participate in new experiences across the State.  Investment in new arts products and programs, in partnership with local Councils, will support the wellbeing of Queenslanders and their communities and enhance the appeal of Queensland’s regional destinations. Programs include:

  • Space and Places: Arts and cultural activation and programming that enlivens spaces and promotes cultural vitality, attracts new visitors and generates opportunities for regional Queensland.
  • Arts Advantage: A new stream in the Queensland Arts Showcase Program (QASP) supporting arts-led projects which provide social benefits to Queenslanders across community sectors including health, youth justice, aged care, disability, education and early childhood

Re-shaping funding programs

Arts Queensland has introduced quick response recovery funding through Creative to Go and is re-shaping current funding programs with a new format Queensland Arts Showcase Program.


With this package, the Queensland Government will have committed more than $42.5 million since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic to support the sector.