Current Issue #488

AGSA, Adelaide Fringe reveal COVID-19 artist funding initiatives

Art Gallery of South Australia

Two separate announcements by the Adelaide Fringe and Art Gallery of South Australia will unlock tens of thousands of dollars in support for local artists.

On Friday AGSA revealed it would be giving its South Australian Artists Fund a COVID-19-ready kickstart with support from the James and Diana Ramsay Foundation and Nielson Foundation. Local artists, collectives or art centres are invited to apply for a series of $10,000 bursaries to be assessed by an internal AGSA panel. Notably, come without an expectation of presentation outcomes.

“AGSA’s support for artists has never been more critical,” director Rhana Devenport said. “While we focus on supporting our audiences with innovative new digital content during the Gallery’s temporary closure, it is crucially important to recognise that artists are at the centre of everything we do. Isolation has again highlighted how we turn to artists and their work to provide solace, pleasure, criticality and insight in our world. This is our way to directly support artists when it matters most.”

Towards the performing arts side of the scale, the Adelaide Fringe today has announced its own $50,000 pool of funding also supported by the James and Diana Ramsay Foundation. The loot will be split up into 30 smaller quick-response grants of between $1,500-2,000.

“While COVID-19 has significantly impacted all of us, the arts community has been dealt a devastating blow with the postponement and cancellation of tours and performances, and other opportunities,” Adelaide Fringe CEO Heather Croall explains. “We want to help artists who have been directly impacted by the pandemic. We hope these grants can provide some relief to artists and help them to continue creating their work.” 

“Diana always wanted the Foundation to be flexible and respond to circumstances and we are committed to finding new ways that help artists in these difficult times,” James and Diana Ramsay Foundation executive director Kerry de Lorme says.

On Friday the Adelaide Fringe also launched its digital program FringeView, essentially an on demand service to help Fringe acts sell video on demand presentations directly to stay-at-home audiences. That program can be explored here.

More broadly, the South Australian government is still to reveal the outcomes of its ‘Arts Organisations’ Collaborations Grants’ (up to $100,000) which, like these initiatives, are aimed at supporting smaller and independent arts organisations through the crisis by fostering greater collaboration and support from the state’s major arts bodies.

Meanwhile the state government has confirmed to The Adelaide Review that its first round of quick response grants resulted in 184 proposals sharing in $1.5 million, with 137 ‘Creative Endeavour’ grants aimed at supporting artists whose practice has been affected by the crisis, and 47 ‘Innovating Practice’ grants targeted towards artists and organisations developing ways to share work via digital platforms.

Submissions for the AGSA South Australian Artists Fund bursaries close Friday 18 May, while the Adelaide Fringe deadline is Friday 10 May.

Walter Marsh

Walter Marsh

Digital Editor
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Walter is a writer, editor and broadcaster living on Kaurna Country. His work has appeared in Rip It Up, Broadsheet, The Saturday Paper, The Guardian Australia, The Thousands, dB Magazine, Jetstar Magazine and Royal Auto. 

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