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The federal government has unveiled the Victorian component of its $75m Restart Investment to Sustain and Expand (Rise) fund, with 48 performing arts companies sharing more than $20m in emergency funding.
The announcement was made by the arts minister, Paul Fletcher, in Melbourne’s arts district, Southbank, on Monday, the same day that the NSW-Victoria border reopened and Victoria’s coronavirus restrictions eased: galleries, museums and cinemas are now able to host up to 150 people indoors, with hospitality venues able to host up to 100 people.
The Melbourne festival, which has been renamed Rising, and the Melbourne Theatre Company are the big winners, allocated $1.48m and $1.19m respectively, to set them back on track following the Covid-19 lockdown, which has closed performing arts venues across the country since March.
Announcing the grants at the MTC’s headquarters, Fletcher said the funds would “flow immediately”, and were an important step in the rejuvenation of Victoria’s arts sector from Covid-19.
“[They] will support the creation of more than 13,000 jobs across Victoria,” he said.
Two major commercial operations get a significant financial boost from the government: Michael Cassel Group will get almost $1m, to get Harry Potter and the Cursed Child into Melbourne’s Princess theatre in January; and Grande Experiences – the company that brought the immersive Van Gogh Alive exhibition to Sydney – receives $705,000.
The company’s chief operating officer, Craig Hartenstine, told Guardian Australia the money would not be used to bring the Van Gogh exhibition to Melbourne.
“It is [for] the creation of two new pieces of content … that will be used in immersive experiences here in Australia, employing digital artists and local artists,” he said.
Other recipients include the Islamic Museum of Australia ($605,000) and the Malthouse Theatre ($550,000).
MTC’s chief executive, Virginia Lovett, said the grant would go towards developing three new Australian theatre productions for live and digital presentation in 2021 and 2022.
Fletcher’s announcement was made on the same day the National Gallery of Victoria’s Ian Potter Centre reopened; NGV International will remain closed until 15 December.
The Melbourne Museum, Immigration Museum and Scienceworks all reopened on 16 November, and the State Library of Victoria and Imax Melbourne reopened on 19 November.
On Monday, the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra announced its 2021 season, with tickets going on sale from 8 December, and La Mama theatre announced it will reopen on 5 December.
Source: The Guardian
Keyword: Victoria’s performing arts win $20m funding as Melbourne readies for reopening | Australia news