COVID-19 has been difficult for many people but those in the arts industry have been hit particularly hard. To assist, the Copyright Agency has approved $375,000 in Emergency Action Funding for 45 applications from a groundswell of 420 applicants, indicative of the overwhelming need for support for the Australian creative sector.
In April the Copyright Agency agreed to allocate $375,000 from its Future Fund to support Australian writers, publishers, visual artists and creative organisations during COVID-19.
Copyright Agency’s CEO Adam Suckling said, “The calibre of the applications was incredibly high, which made the allocation of funds very challenging. We were acutely aware of the importance of the funding in enabling authors, publishers and artists to continue their work, as well as providing hope for the creative industry at large, which has been decimated by the impact of COVID-19.
In approving the grants, Mr Suckling says: “This funding will provide surety for many organisations, writers and visual artists to carry on with their craft.”
Some of the writers supported include:
- Established playwrights Alana Valentine and Angela Betzien, to create new plays.
- Maggie MacKellar, to write a novel.
- John Pickerell, to write about the recent bushfires.
- Julie Janson, to write a new novel.
Some of the organisations to receive the Emergency Action Funding include:
- Sydney Writers’ Festival, Byron Writers Festival, Melbourne Writers Festival, Brisbane Writers Festival and Canberra Writers Festival, to create an online festival.
- Love to Read Local in WA, to enable Writing WA to pay ASA rates to WA authors to participate in virtual book club events.
- Centre for Stories in WA, for Writers’ Daily to create a series of online writing produced by emerging and established Australian writers.
- WestWords, for online programs to support writers from Western Sydney.
- TasWriters, to support Tasmanian writers to create new work.
- Artspace Visual Arts Centre, for Jonathan Jones to create a major work.
- Word Travels 2020 Program by Word Travels to deliver online workshops, public forums, mentoring and poetry slam events from June to October as part of the international Australian Poetry Slam (APS) and Story-Fest.
Now, the Copyright Agency has now announced an additional $125,000. CEO Adam Suckling said, “Our earlier-announced Emergency Action Funding of $375,000 was overwhelmed with applications to support writers, publishers, visual artists and creative organisations in a quick and efficient response process.
“Sadly, as is always the case in assessing applications, there were many exceptional ones we could not fund under this round. Moreover, the crisis in the arts sector due to COVID-19 remains severe. We have therefore decided to increase funding.”