Industry News April 2020

Latest industry news from the visual and media arts, craft and design sector, April 2020. 

In the News

Australia is facing an uncertain future following the mass closures required to slow the spread of COVID-19, with some arts centres fearing they may never re-open again. Whilst the COVID-19 pandemic continues to infect the creative infrastructure of our cultural sector, this month saw struggling artists unite and the realisation of various funding initiatives to keep creativity alive during these difficult times. 

Artists united this month in a one-day call to action to demand that the Australian Federal Government #CreateAustraliaFuture. The action was planned as Parliament sat to pass the $130 billion JobKeeper scheme. There were no changes made to the scheme to include the many practicing professional artists and creative industry workers who are ineligible for JobKeeper under the current eligibility conditions. 

States and territories in Australia have moved to place a moratorium on evictions for renters experiencing financial hardship due to COVID-19 economic decline.

In Awards and Prizes

Finalists of the 2020 Goulburn Art Award have been announced. In the main category, finalists include: Karen Alexander, Grace Blake, Julie Bradley, Kelcie Bryant-Duguid, Emma Collins, Patrice Cooke, Tamara Dean, Sophie Dumaresq, Michele England, Liam Fallon, Mirabel FitzGerald, Lynne Flemons, Alison Ford, A-F Fulgence, Aart Groothuis, Freya Jobbins, Lizzie Hall, John Hart, Mahala Hill, Tony Hooke, Robbie Howard, Fran Ifould, Ian Jones, Mark Kelly, Robyn Kinsela, Birte Larsen, James Lieutenant, Lucinda McDonald, Kerry McInnis, Tina Milson, Ray Monde, Kim Morrison, Judy Mylonas, Barbara Nell, Helen Oprey, Bohdana Palecek, Petros Papoulis, David Ryrie, Sally Simpson, Di Smith, Beverly Smith, Naomi Taylor Royds, Peta Thurling, Kate Vassallo, Libby Wakefield, Iona Walsh, and Naomi Zouwer. The Young Artist Award finalists include: Ashleigh Deaton, Jess Eddy, Evan Goad, Rose Moor, and Katie Simpson.

Finalists for the 2020 Fuse Glass Prize have been announced. In the Established Artist Category, finalists include: Kate Baker (NSW), Clare Belfrage (SA), Penny Byrne (VIC), Cobi Cockburn (NSW), Nadège Desgenétez (ACT), Wendy Fairclough (SA), Marcel Hoogstad Hay (SA), Jeremy Lepisto ( NSW), Madeline Prowd (SA), Yusuke Takemura  (NSW), Hiromi Tango (NSW), and Kathryn Wightman (NZ). The finalists of the David Henshall Emerging Artist Prize are: Hamish Donaldson (SA), Billy James Crellin and Bastien Thomas (VIC), Alexandra Hirst (SA), Erica Izard (NSW), Ayano Yoshizumi (SA), and Madisyn Zabel (ACT).

Finalists for the 2020 Gallipoli Art Prize have been announced. The finalists include: Alison Mackay, Andrew Tomkins, Belle Raine, Betina Fauvel-Ogden, David McKay, Deidre Bean, Elise Judd, Elizabeth McCarthy, Emma Rebecca Liu, Errol Barnes, Fleur Stevenson, Geoff Harvey, Jessica Guthrie, Julianne Allcorn, Kristin Hardiman, Leigh Hooker, Lori Pensini, Margaret Hadfield, Mark Emerson, Mark Middleton, Maryanne Wick, Michael John Lodge, Michael Miller, Nick Howson, Nicola Wilson, Paul Gorjan, Peter Smeeth, Philip Meatchem, Raj Panda, Rodney Pople, Ross Townsend, Sally West, Sam Dabboussy, Shonah Trescott, and Sue Macleod-Beere.

The first recipients of the Rage Against the V(irus) Artist Fund established by Home of the Arts (HOTA) in response to COVID-19 have been announced. The following artists will receive $1,000 towards nominated projects: Tim Baker, Thomas E.S. Kelly (Karul Projects), Dion Parker, Jay Jermyn, Kylie Chan, Matthew Gray, Amy John Roberts, Mark Gray, John Kaye, Sapodia Lindley, Pru Wilson and Scott French (Lovestreet Studios).

Finalists of the 2020 John Leslie Art Prize have been announced. Finalists include: Min-Woo Bang (NSW), David Beaumont (VIC), Dean Bowen (VIC), Robyn Burgess (VIC), Amelia Carroll (ACT), Ulla Childs (VIC), Kevin Chin (VIC), Donovan Christie (SA), Dana Dion (NSW), Sharman Feinberg (VIC), Betra Fraval (VIC), Peter Gardiner (NSW), Linda Gibbs (VIC), Tuppy Ngintja Goodwin (SA), Janet Green (VIC), Stephen Haley (VIC), Sarah Hendy (VIC), David Hoyt (VIC), Helena Jackson-Lloyd (QLD), Klara Jones (VIC), Gina Kalabishis (VIC), Richard Knafelc (VIC), Debbie Mackenzie (VIC), Judy Martin (SA), Rick Matear (VIC), Gary Miles (VIC), Lynn Miller ([VIC), Paul S. Miller (NSW), Nicola Moss (QLD), Anh Nguyen (NSW), Veronica O'Leary (NSW), Margaret Parker (VIC), Adam Pyett (VIC), Gemma Rasdall (NSW), Annika Romeyn (ACT), Phil Ryan (NSW), Alexandra Sasse (VIC), Elif Sezen (VIC), Josh Simpson (VIC), Peta-Jayne Smith (ACT), Karen Standke (VIC), AJ Taylor (QLD), Leah Thiessen (NSW), Sarah Tomasetti (VIC), Paul Waycott (VIC), Anita West (QLD), Lee Wilkes (QLD), and Jamie Willis (SA).

In Government

The Australian Federal Government announced $27 million in target support for Indigenous Arts, Regional Arts and arts charity Support Act. This involves providing $10M to help regional artists and organisations develop new work and explore delivery models, delivered through Regional Arts Australia’s Regional Arts Fund. To support Indigenous artists and arts centres, $7M has been pledged and is to be delivered under the Indigenous Visual Arts Industry Support program. The Federal Government is also providing $10M to Support Act, to enable it to extend its important work across the arts sector.

NSW Arts Minister Don Harwin resigned after non compliance with COVID-19 isolation rules. In a formal statement, Minister Harwin said: “I have offered my resignation to the Premier as a Minister in her government. There is nothing more important than the work of the government in fighting the coronavirus crisis. I will not allow my circumstances to be a distraction from that work and I very much regret that my residential arrangements have become an issue during this time.”

The City of Sydney has endorsed a $47.5 million support pack to provide relief to businesses and communities impacted by the coronavirus pandemic. City of Sydney has pledged $3.5 million in specifically targeted relief to support cultural and creative industries with three new funding initiatives. This includes: the Cultural Sector Resilience Grant Program ($2.25), the Sector-Led Crisis Support Fund ($250,000), and the Creative Fellowships Fund ($1M).

The Tasmanian Government has announced its new COVID-19 stimulus package, assigning $1.5 million in new funding, as well as introducing operational measures of over $2 million to support the individuals and organisations leading Tasmania’s renowned cultural sector. Among the initiatives are: Arts and Screen Digital Production Fund, Tasmanian Contemporary Music Fund, Additional Screen Development Fund, and Additional arts organisations funding. The Tasmanian Government has also implemented the small business emergency support grants program of $20 million, which has been established for initial emergency grant payments of $2,500 to business in a variety of industries, including the arts sector. 

In Organisations

The Australia Council for the Arts announced the recipients of its Four Year Funding for Organisations Program. Only 95 organisations have received 4-year funding, down from 128 in 2016, though 49 organisations will receive transitional funding for an additional 12 months. 

The Australia Council for the Arts has temporarily abolished the majority of its funding programs, with the exception of the Arts and Disability Mentoring Initiative, in order to channel approximately $5 million of existing funding into a new three-stream Resilience Fund to assist artists through the disruption caused by COVID-19. The first funding stream, Survive, is designed for individual artists and smaller organisations. The second stream, Adapt, is to assist artists adapt their arts practice in the current climate and explore new ways of working. The third stream, Create, is to assist in the creation of artistic work and/or develop creative responses in this time of disruption. 

NETS Victoria have announced a new leadership structure within the organisation, including the introduction of two new advisory committees. Penny Teale will take on the role of new Chair of the Board of Management. 

Additionally, Bec Cole and Nikki Lam have been appointed to provide regional perspectives to the NETS Victoria board. The newly established Artistic Program Advisory Committee, to be led by Adam Harding, includes the following advisors: Myles Russell-Cook, Yhonnie ScarceZoë Bastin, and David Hurlston

NETS Victoria has also introduced a new Development and Fundraising Committee, which will be chaired by Jan van Schaik.

The Copyright Agency has announced a new support program in response to the current COVID-19 crisis and its impact on the arts and cultural sector. The program involves an additional $375,000 in grants, as well as $1.8 million in Cultural Fund grants, bringing forward the first quarter of next financial year. There are six core elements to the program, incorporating support for writers’ festivals that are planning to go digital, an emergency action fund, extended funding for innovative online projects, and support for new commissions for writers and visual artists.

Carclew, South Australia’s only multi-art form and cultural organisation dedicated to artistic outcomes by and for people aged 26 and under, has announced a once-off Rapid Response Grants program. With up to $2,500 available per application it aims to assist young and emerging artists navigate their practice during the current COVID 19 pandemic and this time of hardship. 

Twenty-two artists from across the East Asia Pacific Region have come together in support of UNICEF Australia’s emergency COVID-19 response, raising over $90,000. The online auction, Love, Unmasked was hosted by Vermilion Art and Bridging Hope Charity Foundation. 50% of the proceeds will go directly to UNICEF Australia, and provides one-off financial assistance to Australian visual artists in crisis as a result of fire, flood, storm, serious illness, major accident or emergencies.  

In Galleries

Justine van Mourik, the Chair of Canberra Contemporary Art Space (CCAS) for the last two years, has resigned from the Board to take up a position at the South Australian Museum. Amanda Biggs will fill the role of Interim Chair until the next AGM.

The Australian National Maritime Museum announced that it has suspended the circumnavigation of Australia by the HMB Endeavour and its companion touring exhibition - Looking Back, Looking Forward - a project that has been developed over the past four years. The museum is currently considering options for other ways to mark the anniversary, including an online program.

Inside NAVA

While NAVA welcomes the various government stimulus packages and measures announced in response to COVID-19, we are calling for “specific, targeted and immediate stimulus”  in unity with the industry. These measures are vital and urgently needed to prevent potentially devastating impacts in the industry. At present, government measures do not align with the needs and requirements specific to the arts and cultural sector. 

NAVA congratulates the recipients of the Australia Council Four Year Funding for Organisations Program whose outcomes were announced this month. “Everyone at NAVA looks forward to working closely with you towards an Australian arts sector that’s ambitious and fair.” said Esther Anatolitis. While NAVA was unsuccessful in securing Four Year Funding, we will “continue to do our best for our Members, for the visual arts sector, and for the Australian cultural agenda”.

NAVA thanks City of Sydney and the South Australian Government for their generous contributions towards the Artists’ Benevolent Fund, recently reinvigorated by a partnership between Art Month Sydney and NAVA. The City of Sydney has made a contribution of $83,000 to the Artists’ Benevolent Fund, and the SA Government has donated $50,000 toward the fund. 

NAVA has responded to NSW minister for the arts Don Harwin’s formal resignation this month.“There’s never been a more critical time to be NSW’s minister for the arts – nor a more impactful one,” said NAVA Executive Director Esther Anatolitis."There is so much good work to be done right now, so I very much look forward to welcoming NSW's new arts minister.