Federal Government Announces $75 Million RISE Fund To “Reactivate” Arts And Entertainment Sector

The Federal Government has unveiled details around its $75 million RISE (Restart Investment to Sustain and Expand) Fund to help “reactivate” the arts and entertainment sector.

Federal Arts Minister Paul Fletcher yesterday announced guidelines around the package, which is part of the government’s larger $250 million arts recovery package for Australia’s creative economy, announced back in June.

Through the RISE Fund, eligible arts organisations will be able to access grants of between $75,000 and $2 million to help restart festivals, concerts, tours and other events once it’s safe to do so.

“The grants will allow the arts sector to reactivate, re-imagine and create new cultural experiences, including innovative operating and digital delivery models,” commented Fletcher yesterday. “This will help keep artists, performers, roadies, front of house staff and all those who work behind the scenes employed.”

Activities eligible to be funded through the RISE program must be “of a nature that is likely to be popular with Australian audience” and “contribute to job creation”.

The RISE fund sits alongside the $35 million Arts Sustainability Fund for sectors such as theatre, dance, circus and music. It will provide “direct financial assistance to support Commonwealth-funded arts an culture organisations facing threats to their viability due to COVID-19”.

Applications for both initiatives will open on Monday, 31st August and will be open until Monday, 31st May 2021. Further information on both is available here.

The RISE and the previously-announced $35 million Arts Sustainability Fund will open from 31st August with applications invited until 5pm AEST on 31st May 2021.

Also announced yesterday was the opening of applications for the government’s $20 million Live Music Australia grant program, which was originally announced back in March 2019. The initiative is aimed at helping small-to-medium venues get back on their feet. Applications are open here until September 13.

The announcement has been met with skepticism from Shadow Arts Minister Tony Burke. “In case you were wondering about today’s guidelines release for arts funding, no money will flow for months. And it deals with less than half of what they announced,” he wrote on Twitter. “Also today: new guidelines for an arts funding program they announced in March LAST YEAR!”

Last week, Burke criticised the government after it was revealed funding guidelines had not yet been approved by Fletcher.

“This is sadly typical of this Government: the delivery never matches the announcement, the reality never matches the promise. Australia’s arts and entertainment sector workers deserve much better than this,” commented Burke at the time.

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