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: Sector Recovery Initiatives - applications now open
$2m will be invested in sector-led initiatives to support the recovery of Australia’s cultural and creative industries.
The Re-imagine: Sector Recovery Initiatives fund is offered in acknowledgement of the significant forces of change and evolution facing the cultural and creative industries. This investment will support the sector to re-imagine practice and operations, and test ideas and models for a more resilient, equitable and thriving future.
The Re-imagine: Sector Recovery Initiatives are a direct response to the disruptions and challenges experienced by the cultural and creative industries due to the COVID-19 pandemic. They have been informed by conversations throughout the Re-imagine: What next? consultation (September to October 2020).
Applications close: Tuesday 23 February 2021 (5pm AEDT)
Cultivating Creativity: A study of the Sydney Opera House’s Creative Leadership in Learning Program in schools
Cultivating Creativity: A study of the Sydney Opera House’s Creative Leadership in Learning Program in schools is the result of a research partnership between the Australia Council for the Arts and Sydney Opera House.
The report provides powerful evidence of the ways in which creative learning approaches can build confidence, improve academic engagement, positively impact the culture of a school and enhance a sense of community.
The research also demonstrates the value of arts and creative activities for anticipating times of challenge and change. Creative methodologies can equip both students and the teaching community with the skills and capabilities required to meet difference, difficulty and the previously unimaginable with confidence.
Survey for First Nations Music Artists
How do First Nations musicians feel about the music industry? What is working? What could be improved on in the music business in relation to their cultural practice and community responsibilities?
First Nations music plays a vital role in Australia’s music identity. At this critical time, it is essential that the voices of First Nation musicians – custodians of the oldest musical practice in the world – are at the centre of dialogue and decision-making to ensure opportunities for the sector continue to grow and thrive, so the next generation can participate in a cultural future.
The results of the Survey of First Nations Music Artists provide much needed insights into the strengths, challenges and needs of the sector. The responses gathered can provide insights to inform the music industry as it recovers, rebuilds and looks to the future – a future in which First Nations talent and artistry is nurtured, celebrated and central in the music industry and Australia’s culture.
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.
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.