25 June, 2020 - News

‘How do we recover?’: Australian arts sector fears rescue package won’t be enough to survive

Read the full article at The Guardian website

The hardest hit in the sector are the small to medium-sized, independently funded companies, which will be forced to compete for funding without the clout and grant-getting resources of their larger cousins.

“We’re eagerly awaiting further information on the specifics of the package with particular focus on eligibility and process,” said Kerri Glasscock, artistic director of the Sydney Fringe Festival and the Old 505 Theatre in Newtown, Sydney.

“Over the past five months our independent artists and venues have been decimated, with the majority of unfunded arts businesses ineligible for support and arts workers slipping through the welfare cracks.

“With the information provided currently, this package appears to be heavily geared to supporting the commercial part of the sector, and companies already receiving government funding. We are very concerned that the small businesses and independent artists will again be left out in the cold, with no access to support.”

The viability of the small to medium independent sector was vital to the health of the performing arts economy, Glasscock said.

“There is a chain of supply that exists and it is vitally important in feeding the major companies, our international exports and award-winning companies. The through line from youth theatre to drama school, to independent theatre, to main stage or professional film and television, is clear and well-trodden.

“Without one we do not have the other and excluding a vital part of the sector at this time of need through reduced eligibility scope would be devastating. You simply can’t fund the restaurant without feeding the farmer.”

Written by Elissa Blake for The Guardian
Read the full article at The Guardian website