The Federal Government has announced a $35 million funding package for arts-focused COVID-19 support measures, with $20 million to go to charity Support Act and $15 million towards the Sustainability Fund.
The government says the funding will enable Support Act to continue to broaden its scope beyond the music sector and offer support to artists, creatives, production, and technical crew across the arts.
The latest commitment comes after the government announced a $10 million funding package for the charity in April last year.
As of the start of August, Support Act had provided 4,506 grants totalling $10.9 million, while also providing 1,700 counselling hours through the wellbeing helpline.
The Sustainability Fund now stands at $50 million, with more than $20 million already allocated from the fund, with recipients including Sydney Opera House, Queensland Ballet and NIDA.
Creative Economy Taskforce member and opera singer, broadcaster and psychologist, Greta Bradman, said the new funding was welcome news at a difficult time for the sector.
“It will provide crucial mental wellbeing and financial support to enable Australian workers and organisations in the creative sector to continue contributing to the Australian community and economy,” she said.
The funding comes amid fresh concerns for the mental wellbeing of those within the arts following the latest wave of lockdowns.
On Monday, the Casting Guild of Australia released a video encouraging actors and industry professionals to seek help when they need it.
Minister for Communications, Urban Infrastructure, Cites and the Arts Paul Fletcher said it was a particularly difficult period for the sector.
“The challenges faced by those in the arts and entertainment sector are affecting the mental health of many in the industry,” he said.
“That’s why charities like Support Act are crucial at this time.”
Find out more information about Support Act here.