South Australian Artists to Receive Funding Support
By Charmaine Kong
The Art Gallery of South Australia (AGSA) in Adelaide announced on May 1 that it will offer bursaries of AUD 10,000 (USD 6,450) each to visual artists, collectives, and South Australian art centres through its revitalized South Australian Artists Fund in light of Covid-19. Supported collectively by the James and Diana Ramsay Foundation and the Neilson Foundation, applications for the grant, which opened yesterday, will be reviewed by an internal panel with successful applicants to be notified on May 18.
Speaking of the initiative, AGSA director Rhana Devenport ONZM said that “While we focus on supporting our audiences with innovative new digital content during the Gallery’s temporary closure, it is crucially important to recognize that artists are at the centre of everything we do. Isolation has again highlighted how we turn to artists and their work to provide solace, pleasure, criticality and insight in our world. This is our way to directly support artists when it matters [the] most.”
More broadly, the country’s arts industry is witnessing a tide of support for local artists who have been dealt a devastating blow by the pandemic. The art festival Adelaide Fringe, which is also collaborating with the James and Diana Ramsay Foundation, released plans on May 4 of its own AUD 50,000 (USD 32,240) of funding, to be split into individual grants of AUD 1,500 to 2,000 (USD 970 to 1,290). On the same day, Creative Partnerships Australia (CPA) announced that it will provide a matched funding total of AUD 220,000 (USD 141,860), including to the National Association of the Visual Arts’ Artists’ Benevolent Fund, which offers eligible artists a one-off payment of AUD 2000 (USD 1,290) each. Earlier in March, Australia Council for the Arts (ACA) announced its AUD 5 million (USD 3.1 million) “response package” in aid of artists, art practitioners, groups, and organizations.
Despite the relief packages offered, there is still a long way to go for the country's arts sector, which has recently been hit by a fresh wave of funding cuts to cultural organizations. Forty-one percent of the final-stage applicants to the ACA will not receive federal funding during 2021-24, including the AGSA. Meanwhile, Australian prime minister Scott Morrison has announced the decision to cut the federal department for the arts as part of a public service overhaul, effective three months ago.
Charmaine Kong is an editorial intern of ArtAsiaPacific.
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