Sydney’s Carriageworks has announced that it is being placed into voluntary administration as the COVID-19 crisis claims its largest arts scalp to date.

It is an ominous sign for the arts industry, which is reeling under the impact of the coronavirus pandemic. Despite repeated calls from arts leaders for more support from the Federal Government to ensure that the arts industry survives, only $27 million has been allocated so far– a far cry from the $850 million live performance and support package that industry peak body Live Performance Australia called for in March.

Carriageworks, at the iconic converted railway yards in Redfern, is Australia’s largest multi-arts centre presenting the work of hundreds of artists each year as well as providing a much-needed hub for several major arts festivals. “With great sadness, the Board of Carriageworks today determined that it had no choice but to appoint Voluntary Administrators to its corporate entity, Carriageworks Limited,” said the official press statement, released yesterday evening.

Despite its substantial turnover, the organisation can only rely on government funding for 25 percent of its income, with on-site events and programs generating the remaining 75 percent. With one of its partner companies, Sydney Chamber Opera, about to...