Federal Government publishes guidelines for $75million RISE arts grant fund

Not available to individual sole traders or organisations at risk of insolvency

The Federal Government has released guidelines for the $75million Restart Investment to Sustain and Expand (RISE) grant fund for the arts and entertainment sector.

The RISE fund is part of the government’s $250million arts relief package announced in June. The government was criticised last week for its delay in releasing the guidelines and allocation of funds.

The fund will provide grants of between $75,000 and $2million to restart festivals, concerts, tours and events “when it is safe to do so”, with applications open from August 31 until May 31, 2021. The development of COVID-Safe infrastructure and protocols, sound and lighting equipment purchases are also eligible for funding.

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Eligibility criteria require the activities to be “of a nature that is likely to be popular with Australian audiences” and “contribute to job creation”. Venues, festivals or organisations that are at risk of insolvency are also ineligible.

The grants are not available to individual sole traders (unless they employ others), nor to cover or tribute bands, film and television productions and competitions, awards or Eisteddfods.

Grants will take up to three months to be awarded after an application is lodged. Applications will be assessed four to six weeks after they are lodged, while approval will take two to four weeks after that. The actual dispensement of grants will come two weeks after approval.

The first round of assessments is expected to take place in October.

A panel of “experienced assessors” will review grant applications, seeking advice from the Australian Council for the Arts. Federal Minister for the Arts Paul Fletcher will have the final decision on the grant recipients.

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“The grants will allow the arts sector reactivate, re-imagine and create new cultural experiences, including innovative operating and digital delivery models. This will help keep artists, performers, roadies, front of house staff and all those who work behind the scenes employed,” Mr Fletcher said in a press release.

On the same day, the government has opened applications for its $20million Live Music Australia initiative announced in March 2019. Shadow Minister for the Arts Tony Burke criticised both RISE and the LMA funds’ guidelines on Twitter.

“No money will flow for months. And it deals with less than half of what they announced. Also today: new guidelines for an arts funding program they announced in March LAST YEAR!”

 

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