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11 August 2020

Guidelines released for arts grants from the Federal COVID-19 package

Guidelines released for arts grants from the Federal COVID-19 package

Guidelines and details about the application process have been made available regarding the grants announced in June as part of the Federal government's COVID-19 support package for the arts. The announcement included $75 million in grants to reactivate productions, tours, festivals and events as social distancing restrictions ease over 2020-21. This pool of grants, now named 'Restart Investment to Sustain and Expand (RISE) Fund', will open for applications on 31 August.

The rest of the package consists of Commonwealth-guaranteed bank loans to assist in funding new productions and events; $50 million for the screen industry to help resume production; and $35 million in direct financial assistance for major organisations.

Grants will range from $75,000 up to $2 million, depending on the scope of the grant activity and its complexity. Other smaller or larger grant amounts may be considered on a case-by-case basis, particularly for activities that target audiences in outer metropolitan, regional and remote areas. Applicants are required to make a financial contribution towards the grant activities or have other sources of funding, although the impact of COVID-19 will be taken into consideration.

Eligibility criteria include a requirement for the applicant to fit in one of the following categories: incorporated organisations; a local government owned entity; a partnership; a joint (consortia) application with a lead organisation; a not-for-profit organisation; an Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander Corporation registered under the Corporations (Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander) Act 20067; or a Sole Trader with employees.

Other individuals, unincorporated associations and overseas residents/organisations are not eligible to apply, and grant activity must take place in Australia.

The guidelines state:

'The program will fund high quality projects irrespective of scale in all art forms, including cross-art form projects, with the exception of film and television productions and interactive games. Activities must demonstrate that there is a funding need, contribute to job creation, support Australian artists or performers (or their work), provide experiences to audiences, be of a nature that is likely to be popular with Australian audiences, and financial viability.'

Assessors will be officials from the Department of Infrastructure, Transport, Regional Development and Communications.

Funds can be applied from 31 August 2020, with no fixed deadline, closing on 31 May 2021 at the latest. The first batch of applications is expected to be assessed in October for applications received by 30 September, and from then onwards every 2-3 months.

> For currently available info and guidelines, see the grants.gov.au website. The applications will be administered through the Smartygrants website.


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