$6.8 million in RISE funding allocated to NSW and QLD arts orgs

11 QLD and 18 NSW arts organisations from theatre to First Nations and regional arts, share in $6.8 million from the second round of Federal RISE grants for COVID recovery.

As the arts sector was again shut down across parts of Queensland this week, but some good news came with an announced from the Federal Minister’s office.

Today (1 April), the Hon Paul Fletcher announced an extra $2 million has been allocated to Queensland’s creative sector under the Restart Investment to Sustain and Expand (RISE) program. 11 organisations were the beneficiaries of the new funding.

NSW also benefited with 18 organisations sharing in more than $4.8 million, also announced today in the second batch of grants from the RISE Fund. 

In November 2020 more than $60 million in funding was announced under Batch One of the Fund. The Morrison Government’s $200 million Fund is a national initiative designed to reactivate live performance venues and events.

Read: Federal Government releases guidelines for $75 million RISE fund

Fletcher said the latest RISE funding will begin to flow immediately.

It is welcome news to the City of Brisbane – home to many cultural organisations – after a snap lockdown was imposed, and major arts events in Queensland impacted.

‘The Arts and entertainment sector is fundamental to Queensland’s identity, supporting cultural expression, community and social wellbeing, along with a significant boost to employment and economic benefits for the state,’ Fletcher said today in a statement.

He added that the $2 million will create more than 2,200 job opportunities. Meanwhile, for NSW the estimate was put at 13,300 job opportunities created across the sector.

Who made the second cut?

One of the largest grant recipients in Queensland is the National Association of Cinema Operators – Australasia, which will receive $250,000 in funding to present the Australian International Movie Convention, the largest convention of its kind in the Southern Hemisphere. It is scheduled to take place in October this year.

Also on the list is a reimagined COVID-safe festival, Blues on Broadbeach, will receive more than $200,000 in funding to see the event return in May, with more than 85,000 attendees expected this year.

In NSW, the big recipients were in the festivals sector, with Sydney Film Festival receiving more than $530,000 for its 68th film festival, which is estimated to create more than 260 job opportunities, and $370,000 to support the 2021 Sydney Fringe.

One of Australia’s leading performing arts companies, Bangarra Dance Theatre, will also receive more than $220,000 for their latest production showcasing the culture of the Torres Strait.

Second Round QLD Rise recipients

  • Playlab Theatre for Playlab Theatre: $399,846 for Accelerating Transformation and Sector Impact, a program to be presented in 2022.
  • Umbrella Studio Association Incorporated: $257,611 for Makerspace Business Innovation Project to grow income for artists and artworkers.
  • National Association of Cinema Operators: $250,000 for Australasia for Australian International Movie Convention.
  • TWO Festivals Pty Ltd: $236,020 for Expansion of Wynnum Fringe 2021.
  • Major Events Gold Coast Pty Ltd: $200,000 for Blues on Broadbeach.
  • Outer Space Artist Run Initiative Incorporated: $174,182 for Emerging Art in the Public Domain, an art-on-regional-billboards program commissioning emerging Queensland-based artists.
  • Of One Mind Limited: $146,000 for WOW Australia 202, a series of regional festival programs.
  • Mirndiyan Gununa Aboriginal Corporation: $82,100 for Mornington Island Public Art and Celebration.
  • Crossroad Arts Inc: $80,000 for Breathe In, creative development program.
  • DeepBlue Orchestra Inc: $77,855 for Song to the Earth, a reimagined orchestral installation for the opening of new major cultural precincts and a regional arts festival.
  • Aimon Scott Clark: $55,680 for Not On Your Rider, a live music trivia show.

Second Round NSW Rise recipients

  • Australian Publishers Association: $566,000 for Industry-wide collaborations between BookNetAustralia and Australia Reads.
  • Sydney Film Festival: $533,282 for 68th Sydney Film Festival 2021: Hybrid Expansions, presented as a hybrid in-person/virtual festival.
  • Performing Lines Ltd: $400,000 for Local Giants, a program to deliver new artist, community and presenter participation models to unlock the cultural ambition of regional Australia.
  • The Sydney Fringe Festival 2021: $371,323
  • Screenwave Australia Pty Ltd: $345,000 for SWIFF Expansion Project, and a series of outdoor events hosted during and after the Screenwave International Film Festival.
  • King Street Carnival: $340,000 for Deliver King Street Carnival Sydney.
  • Fairgrounds Festival Pty Ltd: $325,000 for Fairgrounds Festival, a family-friendly music festival, offering world-class bands and a range of children’s entertainment.
  • Musica Viva Australia: $310,448 for Musica Viva National Digital and Regional Engagement Program.
  • Monkey Baa Theatre Company: $285,602 for Yong: A Chinese Australian Story.
  • The Woodland Production Company Pty Ltd: $285,000 for Ballet Revolucion.
  • Bangarra Dance Theatre: $229,868 for the new production Waru – Life of the Little Turtle (working title).
  • Precarious Inc t/as Circus Monoxide: $231,173 for Circus Monoxide – Reignition.
  • The Trustee for Boogie Unit Trust:  $180,000 for Boogie Festival – Edition 14 (2021) and 15 (2022).
  • Hayes Theatre Co Ltd: $137,173 for Pacific Overtures, a new production mixing elements of Kabuki theatre with the conventions of the Broadway musical, Pacific Overtures is an original, inventive, powerful and humorous theatrical experience.
  • Synergy & Taikoz Ltd: $80,000 for BOOM! International Festival of Percussion.
  • The Eleanor Dark Foundation: $76,349 for Blue Mountains Writers’ Festival Reboot, a four-day writers’ festival through which Australian writers will receive creative opportunities to present to a local and out-of-region audience.
  • ShawCandy: $60,060 for Independent Regional Producer House Services for 3 Independent Regional development projects.
  • River Sounds Pty Ltd: $60,000 for River Sounds, a Two day music festival in Bellingen with a First Nations focus.

On 25 March the Morrison Government announced the RISE Fund will be boosted with an extra $125 million to support around 230 projects and up to 90,000 jobs, building on an original commitment of $75 million (now totally $200M).

These successful Queensland projects are part of 61 projects funded under Batch Two of RISE. The full list of Batch Two recipients will be announced in the coming weeks at: www.arts.gov.au/covid-19-update

Gina Fairley is ArtsHub's National Visual Arts Editor. For a decade she worked as a freelance writer and curator across Southeast Asia and was previously the Regional Contributing Editor for Hong Kong based magazines Asian Art News and World Sculpture News. Prior to writing she worked as an arts manager in America and Australia for 14 years, including the regional gallery, biennale and commercial sectors. She is based in Mittagong, regional NSW. Twitter: @ginafairley Instagram: fairleygina