Local organisations share in art grants

October 15, 2020 BY

The Geelong Art Gallery is presently empty, but the grant it received from Creative Victoria will help it retain its staff and support artists.

THREE Geelong arts organisations are among the major beneficiaries of Creative Victoria’s Strategic Investment Fund.

The fund aims to protect creative jobs by helping organisations find COVID-safe ways to welcome back audiences and generate revenue.

The Stage Two recipients were named last week, with 78 organisations sharing in $7.85 million of grants, including the Geelong Art Gallery, Back to Back Theatre and Platform Arts.

Minister for Creative Industries Danny Pearson said the grants would support a range of jobs.

“As we move safely and steadily towards COVID Normal these grants will support jobs across the spectrum – on stage, back of stage, in the office – and provide a base for recovery on the other side of the pandemic.”

Back to Back Theatre will use their grant to move more of its content and productions online.

Executive produce and co-chief executive officer Tim Stitz said the support was vital to the theatre’s longevity.

“We were thrilled to have our submission accepted.

“At Back to Back we had already been working on forging into the digital realm before the virus, this money allows us to really focus on it.”

He said the support for the group would help creatives remain employed.

“We’re delighted to be able to keep our own staff, which is over 20 people, but also to be able to employ artists and art workers when they otherwise might not be employed.”

Platform Arts will put the funds will go towards its inaugural LAB Residency Program.

The program will provide five artists/collectives of various disciplines on-going mentorship, industry engagement, and technical and marketing support from Platform staff to help them build sustainable careers in the arts.

More than 70 people across Victoria and New South Wales applied to be part of the program.

Platform Arts executive producer Ilana Russell said she was anticipating great things from the program and its participants.

“We are thrilled to welcome the first group of Platform LAB artists, and look forward to working with them over the next six months to expand their practice, encourage experimentation and foster a contemporary creative community in our region.”

Geelong Art Gallery will fund multiple initiatives including working with emerging curators involving those who are First Peoples and from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds.

Commercial Operations and Development deputy director Penny Whitehead said the gallery was grateful for the support.

“This is an absolutely critical and hugely important grant got the Geelong Art Gallery. It’s great news.”

To view the full list of recipients, head to creative.vic.gov.au.

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