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Arts and Cultural Recovery Package

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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.

A suite of funding programs, Expressions of Interest, and procurement processes are now rolling out in stages.

The package includes:

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

Following a financial assessment process, funding will be provided on a case by case basis to Arts Queensland supported organisations that can demonstrate they have been significantly impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.  

Funding will be allocated across the following categories:

  • Live Music Venue Support
  • Performing arts organisations and festivals that are previous recipients of funding from Arts Queensland since 1 January 2018
  • Indigenous Arts Centres supported through Arts Queensland’s Backing Indigenous Arts Program 
  • Infrastructure support for Arts Queensland funded small to medium arts organisations


$4.2m 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.

  • Play Local  will enable live music and performing arts venues to program Queensland artists, and support the employment of artists, organisations and arts workers 
  • the ‘First Nations Commissioning Fund’ will enable independent First Nations artists and organisations to continue to invest in new work productions and new visual arts commissions to maintain employment for First Nations artists and arts workers
  • First Night Showcase will support Independent artists and organisations to present new works at the Judith Wright Arts Centre (Brisbane) or Bulmba-ja Arts Centre (Cairns) through an Expression of Interest process.

$4.15m 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 funding will be available to support the following activities:

  • alternative venues support to offset the costs of delivering performing arts and live music outside traditional theatre spaces, such as outdoors or nontypical spaces 
  • 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 performance support to increase the development of digital performances that increase reach across Queensland and enhance audience experiences 

Applications will open in July 2020

New distribution channel support

Arts Queensland will receive funding for the development of a digital marketplace to support the distribution of the State’s high quality, ethically produced visual arts and craft products created by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander artists.  

The digital marketplace will be complemented by shopfronts that will distribute ethically produced indigenous arts 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.

$2.9m 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, in partnership with local Councils, will enhance the appeal of Queensland’s regional destinations.

Expressions of interest will be sought for the development of new products that employ local artists, have cultural tourism potential, and leverage supporting partnership funding. This EOI process is expected to open in July 2020.

Examples of activity may include:

  • new festival commissions in regional communities
  • new touring circuits for artists in regional Queensland
  • temporary or permanent installations that employ local artists 

Funding will also support social impact projects in recognition of the impact of arts on social health and education outcomes.

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 opening on 14 July.

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.