The Victorian government has ridden to the rescue of many arts companies, like the Melbourne International Comedy Festival and La Mama Theatre, which have been struggling as stay-at-home orders completely wipe out their income.
Arts companies have been among the industries hardest hit by physical distancing measures, with many unable to make any money with galleries and theatres shut. Compounding the problem is that many, including La Mama, missed out on critical Australia Council funding, which they had been counting on to stay afloat even before patrons stopped being able to attend.
In response, the state government has rolled out a $16.8 million package, including a $13 million 'Strategic Investment Fund', to be distributed between 100 different creative organisations, including La Mama Theatre, Heide Museum of Modern Art, Melbourne International Comedy Festival, Melbourne Fringe and the Ballarat International Foto Biennale.
Another $2.2 million is available in grant money for individual artists and small organisations. Individuals can apply for $5,000 grants, and small arts organisations and businesses can ask for up to $10,000 of that money.
The money will be a lifeline to many in the arts sector, but more help is needed. If you want to help Victoria's arts companies survive, here are some things you can do.