The Greater Geelong Council has committed $510K to help sustain and strengthen the local arts and cultural sector

The Greater Geelong Council has committed $510K to help sustain and strengthen the local arts and cultural sector

The Greater Geelong Council has backed their mission to help sustain and strengthen the local arts, entertainment, cultural and heritage sectors, committing $510,000 through its two most recent COVID-19 support packages.

Aiming to address the urgent and longer-term needs of Greater Geelong’s creatives, whose livelihoods have been decimated by the pandemic, the initiatives funded have been recommended by the Geelong COVID-19 Arts Recovery (G-CAR) Advisory Panel, a group of 21 industry experts brought together by the Council in May.

The funding is split into three distinct programs – Employment opportunities for the region’s arts industries, COVID-19 Arts, Culture and Heritage Recovery Grants, and Skills and training.

Firstly, $300,000 has been allocated to employment opportunities of up to $20,000 for the region’s arts industries. Through an expressions of interest process, this funding aims to generate cross-industry partnerships where artists and creatives contribute to improved tourism, urban design, street life, our heritage and overall community health and wellbeing, as examples.

Next, $150,000 will go towards the COVID-19 Arts, Culture and Heritage Recovery Grants. This new grants stream will provide funding of up to $5000 available for projects that will aid recovery through support for the creation of art. This funding adds to the existing $220,000 Arts Projects and Festivals grants stream, which offers grants of up to $10,000. Applications for both of these grants streams will open tomorrow, July 17 and can be accessed here.

$30,000 will also go towards skills and training, centred around mentoring and capacity development, including training in entrepreneurial and technological skills to assist artists in building their practice, operations and income. It’s hoped this funding will help nurture the future of our creative community.

The $510,000 allocation is made up of $490,000 from the Council’s COVID-19 Community and Economic Support package announced on 30 June, and $20,000 from the support package announced back on 14 April.

“Our local creative industries have been hit unbelievably hard by the pandemic through the closure of cultural facilities, the cancellation of arts and culture events, and the overall economic downturn,” says acting Mayor Kylie Grzybek. “This has led to artists and creatives suffering severe financial hardship and reduced wellbeing. The Council wanted to show that we value what this sector brings to our region by making a positive commitment towards its recovery.”

The allocation has been partially funded by redirecting proposed contributions for Geelong After Dark ($90,000), Mountain to Mouth ($100,000) and public art ($70,000), with the remaining funding added to the Council’s 2020-21 Budget.

The Council has now released a total of $10.7 million in COVID-19 support measures to businesses, community groups and the wider community.

You can read more about it here.

Photo by Go Beyond Melbourne.