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Arts and Cultural Recovery Package

The Queensland Government announced (16 June 2020) a $22.5 million two-year Arts and Cultural Recovery Package for Queensland’s arts and cultural sector as part of Queensland’s Economic Recovery Strategy: Stage Two.

The Arts and Cultural Recovery Package  is a down payment on Creative Together: A 10-year Roadmap for arts, culture and creativity in Queensland  that aims to help revitalise creative industries, support infrastructure and jobs, and power Queensland’s plan for economic recovery, and will support the Roadmap’s first two-year action plan, Sustain 2020-2022.

The Arts and Cultural Recovery Package is a key part of Sustain 2020-2022, with a focus on stabilising Queensland’s arts companies, securing jobs for artists and arts workers, and delivering COVID-safe cultural experiences to Queensland audiences. The two-year investment is being rolled out in a suite of funding programs, Expressions of Interest, and procurement processes.

Investment update

As at August 2022, the following investment has been committed

  • Creative to Go: Funding of $592,165 to support 38 recipients in delivering live performances and engagement activities in regional venues.

  • Live Music Venue Support: Funding of $485,862 for 26 live music venues. 

  • Live Music Support programRound 1 - funding of $1,337,169 to support 21 live music venues as at May 2021. 

    The 2021-2022 budget included an additional $7 million in COVID-19 support for Queensland’s live music industry:
    Round 2 is providing funding of $2.3 million to 22 live music venues as at September 2021.

Round 3 is providing funding of $2,772,405 as at January 2022

Round 4 is providing funding of $2,427,691 as at May 2022

  • Play Local: Investment of $864,385 will fund 55 live music and performing arts venues to host performances by Queensland acts and artists. 

  • Digital Adaptation Fund: Funding of $673,402 to support 52 projects to create and deliver digital programming

  • Youth and Arts Pathways: Funding of $376,924 for 8 projects to attract and retain young people within the sector.

  • Queensland Arts Showcase Program: Round 1 and 2 will fund 36 projects with $1,454,286 to support vibrant and accessible arts and cultural experiences. 

  • Strategic Infrastructure Fund: Funding of $755,544 for 5 projects to support facility upgrades and infrastructure projects.

  • Indigenous Art Centre (IAC) Launch: Support 3 IACs with funding of $340,000 over two-years.

  • First Night Showcase – Judith Wright Arts Centre: Funding of $295 332 to support 11 recipients to develop and present new works at Judith Wright Arts Centre.  

  • First Night Showcase – Bulmba-ja: Funding of $262,422 to support 8 recipients to develop and present new work at Bulmba-ja arts centre, Cairns. 

  • Open Air: Funding of $1,049,832 to support the activation of 16 projects in outdoor and non-traditional settings to deliver of a program of works by artists and arts organisations in these spaces.

  • Spaces and Places: supporting 8 key projects for funding of $1.5 million to enliven spaces, promote cultural vitality, attract new visitors and generate opportunities for regional Queensland.

  • First Nations Commissioning Fund: Round 1 - Support for 19 projects with funding of $836,781 to deliver uniquely Queensland Indigenous stories, arts and cultural experiences, products and celebrations.  Round 2 will support 7 artists and organisations with funding of $393,996.

  • Independent Creation Fund - provides support to Queensland small to medium arts and cultural organisations; Producers and performing arts venues to employ independent artists and arts workers to deliver new projects

  • Indigenous Art Centre Uplift: Funding of $610,000 to 14 Indigenous Art Centres to support sustained practice and revenue opportunities during the COVID-19 recovery period.

    •  investment of $203,312 over two years towards an emerging Indigenous Art Centre in Coen, and $210,000 over two years towards The Ration Shed Museum at Cherbourg

  • $100,000 directed to the volunteer-run Actors and Entertainers Benevolent Fund to support the health and wellbeing of vulnerable members of the sector

  • Live Performance Impact Fund is providing funding of $169,535 as at May 2022. This fund reimburses ‘sunk’ costs associated with the cancellation or rescheduling of live performance activities due to Omicron that were scheduled to take place between 13 December 2021 to 26 February 2022 and costs for COVID health and safety measures implemented over the same period. 

  • First Nations Art, Craft and Design: Transforming Marketplaces funding of $625,687 for seven Queensland-based First Nations artists and arts organisations to grow and showcase work to larger audiences, generating increased economic benefits.

  • $350,000 to support the Queensland Performing Arts Centre's (QPAC) Queensland’s Own presentation series from September until December 2020 with productions from Queensland Theatre, Circa, Queensland Ballet, Queensland Symphony Orchestra and Opera Queensland.

  • $130,000 investment in QPAC - for audio visual equipment in the Cremorne Theatre, which will enable small to medium arts companies to broadcast to audiences across the State, and in programming for Club Cremorne and Green Jam to further bolster artist employment and audience engagement.

  • Recovery Funding - Sustain: This package of funding programs works to help stabilise arts organisations and major festivals, support future sustainability, employment opportunities, encourage innovation and agility, and enable the continued delivery of COVID-safe arts experiences to Queensland audiences.

    • $300,000 will assist 11 Queensland independent arts companies to recover from the impacts of COVID-19
    • $895,000 for 16 organisations to alleviate financial pressures as a result of COVID-19 impacts and support continued employment in 2021.

About the Arts and Cultural Recovery Package

Announced in June 2020, the Arts and Cultural Recovery Package includes: 


$11.3 million to assist in offsetting revenue losses and stabilise businesses in our live music and performing arts organisations and venues.

Support and programs include:

  • Live Music Venue Support: Supporting Queensland-based live music venues with a track record in presenting original live music that have been significantly impacted by COVID-19.
  • Recovery Funding: a package of four funding programs to help stabilise arts organisations, Major Performing Arts Organisations, key festivals and independent organisations.
  • Indigenous Art Centre Uplift: support for Indigenous Arts Centres currently supported through Arts Queensland’s Backing Indigenous Arts Program 
  • Indigenous Art Centre Launch Fund: two-year funding program available to Queensland based established Indigenous Art Centres that are already engaged in supporting First Nations artists and arts workers in professional visual arts practice.
  • Strategic Infrastructure Fund: limited-life matched funding program that will support not for profit arts and cultural organisations with their shovel-ready facility upgrades and infrastructure projects that have broad benefit across a range of partners or the arts and cultural sector.


$4.2 million to fund a pipeline of performing arts and live music to support our cultural and tourism recovery

Funding for live music and performing arts venues, organisations and artists to assist in offsetting the cost of developing new arts products or presenting artists’ work during the COVID-19 pandemic recovery. Programs include:

  • Play Local: supporting live music and performing arts venues to program Queensland artists, and support the employment of artists, organisations and arts workers.
  • First Nations Commissioning Fund: For Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander arts and cultural practitioners, organisations, collectives or communities to commission and deliver uniquely Queensland Indigenous stories, arts and cultural experiences, products and celebrations.
  • First Night Showcase Bulmba-ja: Supporting independent artists and organisations based in Queensland to develop and present new works at Bulmba-ja arts centre (Cairns)
  • First Night Showcase Judith Wright Arts Centre: Supporting independent artists, early career artists and arts organisations based in Queensland to develop and present new works at the Judith Wright Arts Centre, Fortitude Valley.


$4.15 million to support audience and market access

As the COVID-19 pandemic has required a number of organisations and artists to rethink how they engage with audiences and grow new markets, grant programs will be available to support the following activities:

  • Open Air: support the activation of outdoor and non-traditional settings and the production and delivery of a program of works by artists and arts organisations in these spaces.
  • Youth and Arts Pathways: dedicated support for young people in the arts – a program focussed on attracting and retaining young people interested in, or establishing a career in the arts
  • Digital Adaptation: support to increase the development of digital performances that increase reach across Queensland and enhance audience experiences.

New distribution channel support

  • First Nations Art, Craft and Design: Transforming Marketplaces provides product development funding and specialist guidance for Queensland based First Nations artists, artisans, designers and organisations. This funding aims to support innovative growth models for increasing the production of high-quality artworks and products, creating wider distribution to audiences and increased supply of high quality, ethically produced visual arts created by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander artists.  
  • The Queensland Government will also invest in digital theatre infrastructure in the Judith Wright Arts Centre (Brisbane) and Bulmba-ja Arts Centre (Cairns) to provide access for artists to record, stream and produce digital works.


$2.9 million to support partnerships with local councils, venues, artists, festivals and organisations to continue employment and provide unique experiences across Queensland

The arts provides opportunity for local residents and visitors to participate in new experiences across the State.  Investment in new arts products and programs, in partnership with local Councils, will support the wellbeing of Queenslanders and their communities and enhance the appeal of Queensland’s regional destinations. Programs include:

  • Space and Places: Arts and cultural activation and programming that enlivens spaces and promotes cultural vitality, attracts new visitors and generates opportunities for regional Queensland.
  • Arts Advantage: A new stream in the Queensland Arts Showcase Program (QASP) supporting arts-led projects which provide social benefits to Queenslanders across community sectors including health, youth justice, aged care, disability, education and early childhood

Additional support delivered in 2020 - 2021

Live Music 

COVID-19 support to Queensland’s live music industry was increased in 2021 - 2022 with an additional $7 million to ensure the viability of live music in Queensland. Live music is vital to the arts industry supporting strong economic outcomes for Queensland, and contributing to artist’s success, connecting performers with audiences and the communities across the state.

stART Grant Program

The StART grant program, delivered in 2020, provided support for Queensland’s independent creative practitioners including artists, producers, designers, technicians and other arts workers. See the stART funding page for more information.

Venue Pilot Program