COVID-19: Avenues of Support for Community Organisations

The outbreak of coronavirus (COVID-19) is causing economic disruption in many sectors including community and arts organisations.

If your business is being affected, there are resources that can help.

Here are some ways that may assist organisations at this critical time. 

Also, there is a Facebook group, ‘Australian Arts amidst COVID-19‘, that has updated info and tips for artists and arts workers during this period (info organised under tags on the right-hand side).

Artsfront are doing a zoom meeting every week day for 30 minutes at 12pm. More info here.

SBS is committed to informing all Australians about the latest coronavirus developments.
News and information about coronavirus (COVID-19) is available in 63 languages.

Guide to Government COVID-19 Assistance for the Arts

This guide sets out various assistance initiatives that are being provided by Federal and State/Territory governments in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

In order to assist artists and arts workers, the guide is ordered as follows:

  • measures applicable to arts organisations and individual artists;
  • measures are then ordered by relevance to arts organisations and individual artists.

The intention is for this to be a “live” document, updated as circumstances change.

JobKeeper Payments

The Government has announced a $130 billion JobKeeper payment to help keep more Australians in jobs and support businesses affected by the significant economic impact caused by the Coronavirus.

The payment ensures eligible employers remain connected to their workforce and will help businesses restart quickly when the crisis is over.

Victorian Government

The Victorian Government has launched the $500 million Business Support Fund to support small businesses in the sectors hit hardest by the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic so they can survive and keep people in work.

The Fund is part of the Victorian Government’s $1.7 billion Economic Survival Package.

Eligible businesses can apply for a one-off $10,000 grant which can be used towards costs such as utilities, rent and salaries, and activities to support business continuity planning.

DEPARTMENT OF PREMIER AND CABINET
Multicultural Festivals and Events

Support for multicultural organisations to plan and deliver festivals and events that showcase multiculturalism to the wider Victorian community. This program supports activities that will take place between 1 March and 30 June 2021. A further $50,000 is available to support organisations to celebrate Hinduism through celebrations, festivals and events; and $200,000 is available to support Victoria’s Greek communities to connect, celebrate and mark the bicentenary of Greece’s independence. Open to Not for Profit and social enterprise organisations. Events can be digital or face-to-face.

Information sessions are being held in January.

Amount: Large stream $6,000 to $50,000; Small stream maximum $2,000.

Applications close: 3 February 2021 3pm

Applications close: 15 February 2021 3pm

DEPARTMENT OF PREMIER AND CABINET
Multicultural Infrastructure Grants

Grants of up to $500,000 available to support multicultural community groups to undertake upgrades to community facilities that can be completed by 31 December 2021. Open to Not for Profit and social enterprise organisations. Information sessions are being held in January.

Amount: Small: Grants up to $100,000 for upgrades and renovations. Large: Grants between $100,001 – $500,000 for larger projects, extensions and new builds.

Applications close: 15 February 2021 3pm

CITY OF MORELAND
Community Creator: Artist in Residence Program

Five local artists will be matched with five local businesses or community organisations to co-design and deliver a creative response to an existing challenge faced by each organisation through an artistic project or set of activities in early 2021. Business and community organisations will receive an administration fee. You must be a registered business operating in Moreland.

Applications open: Monday 1 February 2021

Applications close: Sunday 21 February 2021

AUSTRADE
Business Events Grants

This program provides Australian business matched funding, of between $10,000 to $250,000, to support their participation as buyers or sellers at pre-approved business events (exhibitions, conferences and conventions) in 2021. Approved events are listed on the Schedule of Approved Business Events on the Austrade program website. (Many events will not be relevant to arts and culture organisations, but some may be of interest). Applications close: 30 March 5pm AEDT

Applications close: 30 March 2021 5pm AEDT

AUSTRALIA COUNCIL
Re-Imagine: Cultural and Creative Solutions

The Cultural and Creative Solutions stream supports artists and organisations to re-imagine practice and operations in light of COVID-19 impacts. This funding stream will invest in ideas and opportunities that create cultural equity, social inclusion and sustainable business models and careers for artists and cultural and creative workers.

What you can apply for:

  • Action research – undertaking research, producing knowledge, sharing information, critical reflection.
  • Transformation models – exploring new ways of doing business, producing, presenting or reaching audiences.
  • Market development – gathering and sharing market intelligence, peer-to-peer exchange, partnerships and collaboration, expanding audiences and networks.
  • Future proofing – re-imagining future practice and operations.
  • Collaborations – building future pathways and ways of working.

Amount: up to $50,000

Applications close: Tuesday 23 February 2021 AEDT

AUSTRALIA COUNCIL
Re-Imagine: Industry Collaborations
For strategic cross-industry collaborations that explore new models of development and delivery. This funding stream is intended to leverage additional investment from partners (cash and in-kind) and to establish new frameworks for future partnership models.

What you can apply for:

  • Action research – undertaking research, producing knowledge, sharing information, critical reflection.
  • Transformation models – exploring new ways of doing business, producing, presenting or reaching audiences.
  • Market development – gathering and sharing market intelligence, peer-to-peer exchange, partnerships and collaboration, expanding audiences and networks.
  • Future proofing – re-imagining future practice and operations.
  • Collaborations – building future pathways and ways of working

Amount: up to $100,000

Applications close: Tuesday 23 February 2021 5pm AEDT

AUSTRALIA COUNCIL
Playing Australia

The Regional Performing Arts Touring program (Playing Australia) supports performing arts to reach regional and remote communities across Australia. Grants are available to support the net touring and other designated costs associated with tours. There is no limit on the amount that can be requested.  Playing Australia is open to applications for funding with some adjustments to the guidelines accounting for COVID-19 conditions.

Applications open now for projects starting after 1 June 2021

Applications close: Tuesday 2 March 2021 3pm AEDT

CITY OF MOONEE VALLEY
COVID Recovery Grants

Funding is available to develop new works or continue works that have been interrupted. Arts organisations – up to $5,000. Free online grant writing workshops also available. Arts organisations must be based in Moonee Valley.

Applications close 21 Jan 2021 

Federal Government
Restart Investment to Sustain and Expand (RISE) Fund

This program targets funding towards sector organisations who are seeking to restart, re-imagine or create new activities, providing finance to assist presentation of new or re-shaped cultural and creative activities and events to enhance community wellbeing and access to cultural experiences across Australia, including in outer metropolitan, regional and remote areas.

Opens 31 August, closes May 2021 or when all funds are expended, which will happen fast, so to act quickly!

VICHEALTH
REIMAGINING HEALTH

Open to creatives, local councils and community organisations who can help young people and Victorians experiencing disadvantage with grants of up to $3K, $10K or $50K. For new or existing ideas or to help amplify an idea that is already in place, to create meaningful social connection, provide opportunities for physical activity and or address food security issues for those who need it most. This grant replaces the previous Art of Good Health, Everyday Creativity and Partnership Grants.

Applications open 16 September, assessed continuously.

Theatre Network Australia (TNA) and Live Performance Australia (LPA)

TNA has joined with Live Performance Australia and other performing arts and music industry bodies to urge the government to fund an urgent package to prevent a complete and permanent industry shutdown, costing thousands of jobs and forcing the closure of performing arts and commercial companies and venues for good.

Business Victoria

Call the Business Victoria coronavirus hotline on 13 22 15 to find out about:

  • the latest information on the public health measures and how these affect your business
  • how to access the financial support available through the national and state stimulus packages – including the Victorian Government’s $500 million Business Support Fund to support the state’s hardest hit sectors, including arts and entertainment and the Federal Government’s JobKeeper Payment which will provide funding to affected businesses to continue paying employees
  • other support services, like accessing business, legal and IT advice and mentoring to help with things like developing business continuity and recovery plans.

Business Victoria also has advice, updates and support on their website to help your workplace plan and respond to coronavirus (COVID-19).

Image credit: Fire Monkey. Photo by Andy Miller.