The Government will provide a targeted support package of repriortised funding to protect jobs and incomes in the arts and culture sector as it faces the ongoing challenges of Delta, Minister for Arts, Culture and Heritage Carmel Sepuloni announced today.
“As we continue to secure New Zealand’s economic recovery, we know that people working in the sector have been hard hit so we are supporting them as we have with other sectors,” Carmel Sepuloni said.
Government has brought forward $37.5 million from within the COVID Recovery Programme. This will span across protecting jobs and supporting at risk organisations, key infrastructure, artists, sole-traders, creatives and projects, as well as a future-focused fund aimed at providing confidence for performances and events. For immediate relief, those in the sector will be able to apply for the Cultural Sector Emergency Relief Fund from Friday 1 October through Manatū Taonga’s website.
“While the Government’s $374 million COVID Recovery Programme announced last year is bringing relief and longer-term support, we recognise something more immediate is needed too. We’ve worked with the sector to identify those needs and are now delivering for them.
“I’m confident this package will help those in need of immediate relief and who have been unable to continue operations. It’ll also give the sector confidence to plan and host performances and events without fear of significant losses if cancellation or postponement occurs due to COVID-19.
“The COVID-19 Alert Level restrictions, whilst necessary, have had an impact on the arts and culture sector. However, I want to acknowledge the resiliency of the many artists, sole-traders, musicians, and creatives and how swift they’ve been in their responses by offering digital experiences and helping us to feel connected at a time when we’re physically not.
“While many organisations and individuals have adapted to our Delta environment where they can, for some there is no alternative to an in-person experience. Others, while able to provide some online or limited capacity experiences, have seen their revenue drop significantly.
“The cultural and creative sector is critically important to the economy, and at an individual and community level plays a significant role in enhancing our wellbeing.
“Our immediate aim is to absolutely help organisations which may be at risk now, but we also want to give the sector the confidence needed to maintain and resume activity in the next 6-8 months. That’s why, as part of the package, we’re also proposing up to $22.5 million which is intended to help future-proof the sector’s planning and hosting of performances and events.
“Government will keep listening to the sector and working together to make the best decisions we can in light of the pandemic and the challenges it presents.” Carmel Sepuloni said.
The $10 million funding for cultural agencies to support at risk organisations, key infrastructure, artists and projects includes $5 million to Creative New Zealand, $3 million to New Zealand Music Commission, $1 million to Te Papa/Museums Aotearoa and $1 million to the New Zealand Film Commission.
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