Our Sector resource page contains information that may assist you to navigate the COVID-19 environment. Here you will find:
- Surveys that are being carried out by the sector
- Information about JobKeeper
- A Guide to government agency assistance
- Responses from arts agencies from across the world.
The Australia Council has been listening to arts and cultural organisations, peak bodies and independent artists about the impacts of COVID-19 and the changes needed to re-ignite arts and cultural activity across the country. As a result, we have produced a two-part response: Re-activate which supports jurisdictional compliance; and Re-imagine that seeks to influence the national response to COVID-19.
Australia Council's approach to Sector Recovery
The Australia Council recognises the impact COVID-19 has had on the cultural and creative sectors. This has had an immense flow on effect for the broader community and economy.
As our sector grapples with the immediate effects of this unprecedented disruption we must also begin to turn our minds to the future, in all its uncertainty, and imagine what that might look like, and what we want it to look like: its challenges and opportunities, and how we can plan for the cultivation of a strong and vibrant ecology.
A creative-led recovery will be essential for Australia. A natural source of innovation and collaboration, our creative sector will be essential in helping to rebuild communities and our economy and navigating Australia’s path out of the crisis.
The newly formed Sector Development team, along with the whole of Australia Council, is focused on working with the sector to develop tools, strategies, advocacy capabilities and approaches for the issues, challenges and opportunities ahead of us. Our work encompasses sector recovery along with capacity building, mobility and exchange, responding to and leading in current trends along with specific artform conversations and requirements.
Head of Sector Development
JobKeeper and the cultural and creative industries
This paper outlines the immediate and longer term needs of the cultural and creative industries pertaining to the JobKeeper program. While JobKeeper will have a significant benefit, in its current form it will not support a large proportion of the creative workforce. This is due to the specific nature of the cultural and creative industries which are characterised by extremely high levels of casualisation and freelancing. Support for these small businesses, sole traders and our creative economy is vital. Our sector will be essential in helping to rebuild communities and navigate Australia’s path out of the crisis.
JobKeeper - Frequently asked questions
This document seeks to answer frequently asked questions from artists, arts workers and organisations about the JobKeeper program.
The FAQ document has been prepared by Sharpe Advisory for the Australia Council. It will be updated as more information becomes available.
Guide to government COVID-19 assistance for the arts
This guide sets out various support programs and initiatives that are being provided by federal and state/territory and selected local governments in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
It brings together publicly available information into one resource to assist arts organisations, artists and arts workers in navigating government assistance.
The guide has prepared by Sharpe Advisory for the Australia Council. The information contained within is general in nature and does not constitute financial, legal or tax advice, or take into account specific circumstances.
The information in this guide is correct as of 29 May 2020 and will be updated regularly as further details become available.
Responses to COVID-19 from arts agencies around the world
This document provides an overview of responses to the COVID-19 pandemic from arts funding agencies around the world, including links to further information.
We hope this is a useful resource for:
- policy makers looking for ideas about what others are doing
- advocates wanting to seek information on how other countries are responding
- arts workers looking for the support available in their jurisdiction.
Updates from the sector
- Australian Health Protection Principal Committee (AHPPC) statement on the safe return of crowds to stadiums, arenas and large theatres
- Australian Health Protection Principal Committee (AHPPC) statement on the review of physical distancing and person density restrictions
- Select Committee on COVID-19 inquiry into the Australian Government’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic, June 2020
- National Assistance Program for the Arts
- Live performance Australia - live performance and COVID-19
- Dark Mofo statement
- Billboard - list of cancelled concerts
- Artshub - COVID-19 cancels major events across Australia
- APAM statement
- LPA Guidelines for Auditions, Rehearsals and Performances. [PDF]
- LPA Touring Guidelines. [PDF]
- PAC Australia Guidelines for COVID Safe Theatres (updated) [PDF with summary of changes, PDF]
- Screenhub: https://www.screenhub.com.au/news-article/features/covid-19/dr-jackie-bailey/governments-around-the-world-respond-to-covid-19-impact-on-the-arts-260092
- MEAA: https://www.meaa.org
- Live Performance Australia: https://liveperformance.com.au
- Arts Queensland, Individuals Fund: https://www.arts.qld.gov.au
- Support Act Wellbeing Helpline: Call 1800 959 500 OR visit: https://supportact.org.au/wellbeinghelpline/
- BlakDance: https://www.blakdance.org.au
- Gallang Place Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander Corporation: https://www.gallangplace.org.au
- QPASTT: https://qpastt.org.au/
- Queerspace for LGBTIQ+ communities: https://www.queerspace.org.au/
- A Status Report on Digital Workplaces and the Organisational Response to COVID-19 in Australia: https://chieftech.com.au/post/covid19-out-of-office-report/Covid19OutOfOfficeReport2003201044AEST.pdf
Re-imagine: What next?
The COVID-19 pandemic has completely disrupted the arts and cultural industries. The pandemic has illuminated pressures we were already feeling. It is bringing to light aspects of our industry many have long wanted to change, along with new issues we are now being forced to address.
Future disruptions are inevitable, and the arts and cultural industries must rapidly adjust to ensure they don’t just survive but thrive in the future.
We have heard from many artists, cultural practitioners and organisations through industry roundtables, surveys, informal conversations and focus groups. We have heard from you as you deal with and respond to the immediate crisis, and whilst you consider how to start thinking productively about the future.
Creating Our Future: Results of the National Arts Participation Survey
Creating Our Future: Results of the National Arts Participation Survey is the fourth study in the landmark research series that explores Australians’ engagement with and attitudes towards the arts.
The National Arts Participation Survey asks how Australians are engaging with arts and creativity in our daily lives. How do Australians feel about arts and creativity? How is our arts engagement changing? Do we recognise the impacts of arts and creativity in our lives and communities? How do Australians feel about public funding for the arts?
Creating Art Part 1: The makers’ view of pathways for First Nations theatre and dance
Creating Art Part 1: The makers’ view of pathways for First Nations theatre and dance is the latest study in a series commissioned by the Australia Council with the aim of supporting the First Nations arts sector to connect more Australians to First Nations arts experiences and grow opportunities for First Nations artists.
Conducted prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, the research provides vital insights that can inform the recovery and future sustainability of the First Nations arts ecology.
Based on in-depth interviews with 45 dance and theatre makers, Creating Art Part 1 explores First Nations artists’ experiences realising work; maps pathways for works; and highlights opportunities, challenges and calls to action.
Cherish II: applications are now open
The Cherish II Fund is in response to the COVID-19 pandemic and the disruption experienced by the First Nations arts and cultural sector and community. The Cherish II Fund has been informed by the First Nations Roundtables and the sector discussions and consultations in which the themes have focused on the sector priorities and needs through the COVID-19 pandemic.
Applications close: 6 October 2020
COVID-19 Audience Outlook Monitor: Phase 2
The Australia Council is working with Patternmakers and WolfBrown to understand changes in behaviours and sentiments of arts-goers in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. This tracking study is designed to support important decision-making and forward planning across the sector in the coming months.
Baseline data was collected in a cross-sector collaborative survey process involving 159 arts and culture organisations, including museums, galleries, performing arts organisations and festivals.
Results from the second phase of the study are now available, with the key insights outlined in a snapshot report and data provided through the Audience Outlook Monitor dashboard.
Re-activate: beyond step three – a new resource to support COVID-19 recovery
The Australia Council has announced the latest resource in our Re-ignite suite - Re-activate: beyond step three.
This resource sets out industry standards and protocols for the arts and cultural industry to consider in preparation for moving into the next phase of Australia’s response to COVID-19.
These protocols will assist artists and organisations as restrictions ease and provide essential advice regarding the next steps for the arts and cultural industry. This resource is intended to support the cultural industry in considering key elements for re-opening as states and territories move towards re-opening.
First Nations Contemporary Music receives crucial investment
The Australia Council welcomes the federal government’s commitment of $2 million over four years ($500,000 each year) to be invested through the Indigenous Contemporary Music Program.
Minister for Communications, Cyber Safety and the Arts, the Hon Paul Fletcher MP today announced details of the first year of investment, including $250,000 to the Australia Council to deliver First Nations music grants.
The Australia Council is announcing details of its investment opportunities for individuals and organisations
Although the arts and cultural industries, along with all Australians and communities around the world, have experienced incomparable disruption from the impacts of COVID-19, we have never lost sight of the enormous public value of the arts for all Australians.
It is important that we resume our programs and strive to enable creativity to continue to connect us in recovery and in the future; it will be essential for Australia’s recovery. Our creative sector will be indispensable in helping to rebuild communities and our economy to assist navigating Australia’s path out of the crisis. We are working at speed to re-open as many suspended programs as possible to contribute to this recovery and roll out new responsive initiatives.
Simon Hinton, Artistic Director/CEO of Merrigong Theatre Company, concludes his celebration of our theatre champions.
'Back in April, in the early days of this COVID shit-show, I posted the first of a series of Facebook/Instagram posts that read:
21 Reasons I Know the Australian Arts Industry Will Bounce Back Better than Ever:
Yes, these are dark times my friends, you don’t need me to tell you that. My job currently is trying to work out how to save an organisation that relies on Box Office and Venue Hire for more than 80% of its revenue (and we’re the lucky ones!). Saving jobs, survival, is my total focus for now. But my mind’s started to turn to reasons why our industry might not just survive, but one day roar back to life better than ever. All of the reasons I could think of were people...'
Australia Council welcomes government's $250 million creative support package
The Australia Council has welcomed the announcement of an industry specific support package for the cultural and creative industries.
“This is a welcome investment in some of the industries hardest hit by the impacts of COVID-19” said CEO Adrian Collette AM.
“An investment in the arts is a smart investment in recovery: creativity-led productivity fuels our economy and our social fabric. Arts and culture are major drivers for tourism, both domestic and international. They boost the hospitality sector. They underpin the vitality of our cities and regions, and the perception of Australia internationally.”
Australia Council for the Arts submission
Select Committee on COVID-19 inquiry into the Australian Government’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Date: June 2020
This submission outlines:
- the impacts of COVID-19 on Australia’s cultural and creative industries and
- the measures taken by the Australia Council for the Arts in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Australia Council has been listening to arts and cultural organisations, peak bodies and independent artists about the impacts of COVID-19 and the changes needed to re-ignite arts and cultural activity across the country. As a result, we have produced the following response: Re-activate which supports jurisdictional compliance.
Re-activate – is a practical, user-friendly guide for independent artists and organisations. It outlines how to confidently comply with government guidelines to recommence practice and open doors to welcome audiences, visitors and customers. It complies with the existing requirements of steps 2 and 3 of the Australian Government’s 3-Step Framework for a COVIDSafe Australia.
Join the arts and creative industries digital support Facebook group
This group was created to support the arts community in the digital space.
We are seeing incredible feats to stay connected in this time especially when there are many conversations and questions around digital solutions to sharing our content.
This is an ever-evolving group designed to empower the community.
Impacts of COVID-19 on First Nations arts and culture: Download the paper
This paper outlines the immediate and longer term needs, concerns and potentially catastrophic impacts for First Nations arts and culture in light of COVID-19. This includes potential for the most significant loss of arts, culture and language since the arrival of the First Fleet. Drawing on research and sector intelligence, the paper highlights opportunities for First Nations arts specific support and cross-portfolio advocacy and engagement.