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SWF among first recipients of $375k Copyright Agency funding, Cultural Fund grants brought forward

The Copyright Agency will use $375,000 from its Future Fund to offer new initiatives in response to the Covid-19 crisis.

The agency has also announced it will bring forward its Cultural Fund grants, forecast to be worth $1.8 million, to the first half of the 2020–21 financial year.

In a statement, Copyright Agency CEO Adam Suckling said the creative infrastructure supporting the production, promotion and sales of writing and visual arts work is ‘being smashed’, and that writers, visual artists and publishers ‘are doing it very tough’.

‘Covid-19 could have a truly devastating effect on the work of Australian writers and visual artists and on the value and reach of Australian story telling,’ he said. ‘It is difficult to overstate just how hard people in the sector work, what a grind it can be and how precarious things are presently.’

Digital events and projects

The newly announced initiatives include support for the Sydney and Byron Bay writers festivals to make their programs digitally available ‘by paying the Australian participants the participation fees they would have received if the program had proceeded normally’.

The Copyright Agency said it had also included funds ‘to cover assistance to other festivals that may not be able to proceed as “normal”’.

In addition to the support for writers festivals to proceed digitally, the agency announced funding ‘for innovative online projects’, including an amount to support those projects responding to Covid-19: ‘Writers and interviewers across Australia are setting up smart new ways of taking Australian writers to audiences. This money is available for the payment of monies to writers who participate in such online projects.’

New grants fund

The agency also announced an emergency action fund of $150,000 to be allocated in grants of between $5000 and $20,000 for writing and visual arts projects ‘that have been adversely affected by Covid-19 or are responding directly to it’. Most of these grants are expected to be around $5000.

Funding for literary works, book

A ‘new commissioned literary works’ program will support the publication of 20 to 30 works ‘by Australian writers responding to the disasters Australia has faced in early 2020’.

‘The working title for this is Our Year of Fire, Flood, and Plague: Australian writers respond to the challenges of 2020. Pieces from this series will be published in The Guardian. Money is also set aside to facilitate a book publication of these pieces.’

The agency also announced initiatives to support visual documentation of the Covid-19 crisis and virtual launches of visual arts events already supported by Copyright Agency.

The agency said application forms will be available shortly. For more information, see the website here.



Category: Local news