The Green Party says new government support for creatives and artists is a vital lifeline for a sector struggling to survive the COVID crisis.
The government has announced a $175m funding boost for the arts sector.
It includes $7.9m to provide pathways for creatives into sustainable work, building on the previous success of the PACE programme, and a $16.5m Music Recovery Fund to support musicians and venues.
The Green Party’s Arts, Culture and Heritage Spokesperson Chlöe Swarbrick said today:
“Artists and creatives are connectors and pioneers of our communities. They tell our stories, challenge our perspectives, and enrich our communities.
“COVID-19 has seen many in the creative sector unable to access their audiences and we’ve heard from creatives desperately struggling to make ends meet. The industry didn’t receive much-needed support before the current crisis, and their situation has only been made harder in the wake of it.
“Many artists are freelancers, surviving in the precarious gig economy. We’ve long been pushing for greater government support of people working in the arts, so we’re pleased to see funding to support sustainable work.
“The Music Recovery Fund will come as a welcome relief to musicians, and the venues that host them. I’ve heard how much they are struggling right now, with many iconic venues facing closure due to loss of revenue. This funding will help these cultural centres to stick around and reopen their doors when public health measures allow.
“Art is not a nice-to-have – it is an essential part of our communities, which colours our lives and makes us think. This funding extends a lifeline to an industry facing an incredibly uncertain future.
“While we welcome this funding, these problems didn’t begin only a few months ago, so we cannot stop here. We will continue to support our artists and cultural venues through this pandemic and into a future that properly recognises their value, to keep on creating work that enhances all of our lives.”
The funding announced today includes:
- $7.9 million for Careers Support for Creative Jobseekers – a programme that will be progressively rolled out to support artists and creatives back into sustainable work. It builds on the most successful aspects of the former Pathways to Arts and Cultural Employment (PACE) programme.
- $70 million over three years for a Creative Arts Recovery and Employment Fund to support the rebuild of the creative industries by commissioning and supporting creative projects at a national and local level.
- $60 million over three years for a Cultural Innovation Fund – a contestable fund to support new ways of operating, cross-sector partnerships, and create new ways to add value to the economy, particularly through digital exports. This will include supporting innovative approaches to Māori artforms and traditional knowledge.
- $20 million for a Cultural Capability Fund to focus on immediate needs in response to COVID-19, such as legal services, online delivery and audience development.
- $16.5 million for a New Zealand Music Recovery Fund specifically directed towards the contemporary popular music industry.