In great news for the region’s arts and events empresarios and individual creators, the Ministry for Culture and Heritage has announced $120 million in additional funding to support the beleaguered Arts and Culture Sector.

HB Arts Festival director Pitsch Leiser reacts: “There are many artists, makers, creators that lost a lot of work recently, who would benefit from one of the options on offer. In regards to our festival for October 2022 it would certainly  be a bit easier if there was a chance to reduce the risk a little should Covid play a role in postponements or cancellations of events then.” 

He continued optimistically, “Ideally though we are out of this current impact of the pandemic and could operate in an orange or green traffic light setting.”

NCC’s comms & marketing manager Julia Atkinson commented: “The support is certainly brilliant news for the Arts and Cultural Sector. We will be supporting eligible events we are involved with in their applications. As the announcement is fresh, we have no further details of who might benefit in our region as yet. This much needed boost certainly provides a more promising outlook to for a sector hit so hard in recent times.”

HDC’s manager, arts & culture, Megan Peacock Coyle adds:  “I would hope that any Hawke’s Bay artists or event organisers who have been impacted due to going to RED would apply.  The restrictions have placed enormous pressure on our artists and arts organisations who rely on their events going ahead as income so this fund will be a huge relief.” 

Of the new funding, $70.7 million is for The Arts and Cultural Event Support Scheme, extending coverage to events scheduled to take place before 31 January 2023, that were planned before the move to Red. 

Says the Ministry: “It’s important to reassure artists and crew that they will get paid despite their event being cancelled due to Red. The Scheme includes an obligation to make full payment, as if the event had gone ahead, to artists, performers and production crew and/or organisations.”

Another $35.5 million will fund more direct support for individuals and organisations. The limit on funding for individual organisations has been increased from $100,000 to $300,000, and a one-off grant of $5,000 will be available to eligible self-employed individuals and sole traders in the arts and cultural sector who have lost income or opportunities to work.

Finally, the Screen Production Recovery Fund will receive a boost of $15 million to enable an extension of the fund through to 31 December 2022 to maximise production activity.

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