21 Mar 2020

Coronavirus impact: Creative NZ announces multi-million-dollar help for artists

9:39 am on 21 March 2020

Creative New Zealand is establishing a multi-million-dollar emergency response package to support artists, groups and organisations impacted by Covid-19.

Creative New Zealand is establishing a multi-million-dollar Emergency Response Package to support artists, groups and organisations impacted by Covid-19.

File photo Photo: 123RF

The agency will initially spend $4.5 million in supporting more than 80 arts organisations, and in resilience grants for artists.

The funding was approved following an emergency meeting with the agency's governing body, the Arts Council.

Creative New Zealand has also suspended all funding programmes currently open, due to open or with applications being assessed.

Exisiting multi-year funded arts organisations will receive financial support, and resilience grants will be made available to individual artists.

Creative New Zealand chairperson Michael Moynahan said the arts bring people together and that must be protected.

The agency will provide further details on the package next week.

It follows similar moves by the music industry to support artists, promoters, venues and others affected by cancellations and disruptions caused by the Covid-19 virus.

A website set up for New Zealand and Australian artists to register their cancelled their gigs, I Lost My Gig, has a current tally of $A250 million in lost revenue. They're encouraging those who've been impacted by the virus to add themselves to a playlist which now features local acts JessB, the Naked and the Famous, and Tami Neilson.

APRA / AMCOS NZ, which represents a large number of Kiwi songwriters and composers, has set up a New Zealand-specific page and is encouraging people to share their stories with them.

APRA NZ said in a statement that live performers, production crews, managers, self-employed and part-time workers, venue owners, and many other contractors were facing "a unique level of disruption and uncertainty."

All of us want to acknowledge the gravity of this situation, but without panic. There are many developments yet to come and every day will bring something new," APRA said.

"As we put our heads together to look forward and work on solutions, please remember that music and art in all its forms can be incredibly helpful and healing in a time like this.

"Listen to your favourite music, and reward those artists by buying merchandise, records, streams, tickets to local shows that are still going ahead (if you are well), making donations, and encouraging others to do the same."

  • If you have symptoms of the coronavirus, call the NZ Covid-19 Healthline on 0800 358 5453 (+64 9 358 5453 for international SIMs)

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