The ACT Government is monitoring the impact of COVID-19 as the situation evolves and we appreciate the additional strain that is being placed on the arts sector in these times of uncertainty.
The public health and safety of Canberrans, and our artists, is our top priority.
What we are doing to support the Canberra arts sector
artsACT remains flexible and ready to respond when we need to - this includes determining how we can continue to support our arts sector.
The ACT Government recognises the immediate support needed for Canberra artists who have lost their income and ability to maintain their arts practice as a result of COVID-19.
As part of a whole of Government response to the impacts of COVID-19, funding of up to $10,000 per artist will be available for Canberra artists to support arts development and the sustainability of their arts practices over the next six to nine months. To find out more, visit the HOMEFRONT funding page
Additionally, we will provide up to $500,000 in funding to the head-licensees of arts facilities to enable the waiving of fees for sub-licensees for six months. It is anticipated that this will support 65 smaller arts organisations.
The ACT Government will also not charge any rent, for a six-month period from 1 April 2020, to community groups occupying ACT Government owned properties. This includes ACT Government owned arts facilities.
The ACT Government is looking closely at what the Australian Government will do Australia-wide, and will work in partnership with them in the delivery of those measures locally. If you have any concerns, please do not hesitate to get in contact. There is also some information that may be useful to local artists and arts organisations about support from the Office for the Arts and the Australia Council for the Arts
Which artsACT programs have been affected?
In response to the global pandemic of COVID-19, the ACT Government and Wellington City Council have decided to postpone the Canberra Wellington Indigenous Artist Exchange (date to be determined). We will continue to assess applications and will contact applicants as soon as we can provide an update. Although this is disappointing, both the ACT Government and Wellington City Council remain committed to the Exchange.
artsACT is progressing assessments of the 2020 Round 1 Arts Activities funding that recently closed. There may be a need for us to speak to applicants regarding activities in the changing environment and if so, we will contact you. If you have any updates for an application impacted by COVID-19, please email us at artsACT@act.gov.au
If you are a current funding recipient and COVID-19 has impacted your project, artsACT has developed a flow chart and a table to help you determine what you should do next:
- Grant recipient contingency planning flow chart (PDF 93KB)
- Grant recipient contingency planning table (PDF 96KB)
Which artsACT-owned arts facilities have been affected?
Currently all of our arts facilities are closed to the public until further notice.
The ACT Government has also established a new dedicated website on COVID-19. The new website – www.covid19.act.gov.au – is a single point of truth for everything you need to know about COVID-19 in the Canberra region. The website will be updated regularly as information evolves and has a subscription feature for you to receive regular email updates on COVID-19.
If you're struggling with your mental health and need immediate support you can phone Beyond Blue any time on 1300 224 636 or Lifeline on 13 11 14. The Support Act Wellbeing Helpline is a free, confidential counselling service open to anyone working in Australian music or the performing arts - 1800 959 500.