NAVA welcomes arts package and strongly encourages visual arts, craft and design applicants

Media Release

Image: Latai Taumoepeau, provided by Latai Taumoepeau.

Note added 11 August 2020: The Office for the Arts have now released the guidelines for RISE, the $75m Restart Investment to Sustain and Expand Fund. Applications open at 9:00am AEST Monday 31 August, the first assessment period ends on 30 September 2020, and the fund will operate until 31 May 2021 unless funds are exhausted first. NAVA strongly encourages visual art, craft and design applications.

Today NAVA welcomes the Prime Minister’s announcement of a $160m industry package for the arts (plus $90m in loans) as an important first step towards redressing the economic impact of COVID19.

“It’s been just over three months since the entire industry united to let the Prime Minister know how devastating the pandemic’s economic shock has been for the industry that inspires the nation,” said Esther Anatolitis, Executive Director of NAVA.

“It’s clear just how much work the Prime Minister has done since that time to understand the scale, scope and needs of the industry, given the massive public demand for our work at this time. This work is welcomed and valued. 

“Today’s announcement offers some useful funding and investment options. Once guidelines and criteria are released, I strongly encourage all visual arts, craft and design applicants to get on the phone to our government colleagues without hesitation, and ask all the questions you need to ask to make sure you can access what’s urgently needed. 

“I am heartened by today’s announcement of a comprehensive approach to embedding arts and culture across the Australian Government’s economic recovery work. This responds to consistent calls by NAVA and others for a high-level taskforce to support the government in achieving this. 

“In the wake of the shocking ABC cuts, the skyrocketing cost of humanities university education, the exclusion of local government and university galleries and art schools from all support measures, the JobKeeper eligibility restrictions on casual and migrant workers, the waiver of local TV content requirements, the ongoing efficiency dividend impacts on our national cultural institutions, and the impact of years of cuts to the Australia Council with no new funding to invest strategically through this crisis, the work of the Creative Economy Taskforce will be valued deeply by all Australians.

“To ensure Australia is best placed to thrive through this crisis and beyond, we need to invest in the people and the pathways that create Australia’s future. This means:

  • Ensuring that each element of this and future packages will be made available, openly and fairly, to everyone in the arts industry – artists, artsworkers, and those excluded to date such as local government and university museums, galleries and art schools;
  • Increasing the acquisitions budgets and removing the efficiency dividends on our national cultural institutions such as the National Gallery of Australia, the Portrait Gallery, the National Museum of Australia and the Museum of Australian Democracy, ensuring that the Australian Government takes a visionary role in enhancing our national collections, stimulating the art market and protecting artists’ livelihoods;
  • Investing ambitiously in the Australia Council, who have been forced to jeopardise their future industry development work in order to offer a $5m emergency fund by redirecting funds internally.”

For further analysis of COVID19 and policy priorities, see NAVA’s submission to the Senate Inquiry into the Australian Government’s COVID19 Response:

Esther Anatolitis will be presenting to the Senate Inquiry at its Tuesday 30 July hearings.

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Leya Reid