Arts sector offered an extra $135 million

The arts and entertainment sector is being offered another $135 million to recover from the coronavirus pandemic.

Most of the money ($125 million) will top up an existing recovery fund for arts businesses and production companies, taking its value to $200 million.

The so-called RISE program is designed to support festivals, concerts, tours and productions.

There will also be an extra $10 million for Support Act, which provides financial relief for artists, crew and music workers in crisis.

But with one in five arts workers still on JobKeeper payments, there are still grave fears about what will happen when the wage subsidy scheme ends on Sunday.

Arts Minister Paul Fletcher said the package was aimed at getting shows back on the road.

“We want to see our performers and creators on stage, we want to see jobs for the backstage crews, we want to see front of house,” he said on Thursday.

“All of that depends upon, and can be stimulated and supported by, this funding.”

The fund guidelines will also be changed to allow more support for smaller organisations, venues and artistic groups.

Mr Fletcher said the changes were aimed at helping the music industry, which has been crying out for more help in the face of venue capacity limits and touring restrictions.

“Theatre is on the road back but the music sector is lagging somewhat behind,” he said.

One of the major changes is reducing the minimum grant size under the program from $75,000 to $25,000.

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