The NSW Government has unveiled a $50 million rescue and restart package for NSW arts and cultural organisations affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. According to the Government, the package will be delivered in two stages: funding available now to enable NSW not-for-profit arts and cultural organisations to hibernate temporarily, and funding available in the coming months to enable NSW not-for-profit arts and cultural organisations to restart operations after the COVID-19 pandemic.

Yael Stone and Hamish Michael in Sydney Theatre Company’s The Beauty Queen of Leenane. Photograph © Brett Boardman

The funding will be made available to not-for-profit arts and cultural organisations assessed as being in financial distress on a case-by-case basis, while a report by the Sydney Morning Herald flagged Sydney Theatre Company, Sydney Symphony Orchestra, Opera Australia, Australian Chamber Orchestra, and Australian Theatre for Young People as likely recipients of funding through the program.

“This Rescue and Restart package will ensure the survival of some of the most significant arts and cultural organisations across NSW,” said NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian, who has been in charge of the arts portfolio since Don Harwin resigned as arts minister in April, following revelations he...