Creative Victoria will support 90 arts organisations from across the state over the next four years.
Given that the LNP’s arts policy is as wafer-thin as its electoral majority, the future of Australia’s creative industries remains uncertain today as Prime Minister Turnbull celebrates winning the Federal election. There is, however, cause for many artists in Victoria to also celebrate today, as an announcement this morning by the Victorian Government revealed an investment of over $113 million in the State’s independent arts sector.
In total, 90 independent arts organisations will receive funding over the next four years, “providing stability and fuelling the state’s creative economy and cultural life.” The arts funding initiative by Creative Victoria is helping to bridge the funding gap caused by cuts to the Australia Council’s budgets in recent years. Australia’s arts funding crisis came to a head in May, when over 60 arts organisations from around the country lost out on operational funding applications to the Australia Council. The Victorian Government’s Creative State strategy has sought to close this funding gap by offering grants to cover the operational costs of many small, medium and large arts organisations from across the state. A statement issued by Creative Victoria today said that priority was given to funding smaller and more vulnerable organisations that provided strong creative and cultural outcomes, both in Melbourne and in more remote areas.
The range of organisations represented in the portfolio of recipients is impressively comprehensive. Theatre, dance, music, circus, visual art and opera companies, as well as festivals and literary groups were selected by a panel of eight independent experts, who assessed applicants on “artistic merit, quality of services and contribution, and organisational capacity.” More than 20% of the organisations funded are regionally based, 10% are Indigenous-artist led, and 10% work with young people. Independent venues such as The Substation in Newport, indigenous arts organisations such as Short Black Opera and Gallery Kaiela, and cultural institutions like the Museum of Australian Democracy in Ballarat, were among the beneficiaries, which also included peak industry bodies and companies providing professional support for artists.
A full list of the 90 successful organisations is available on the Creative Victoria website.