MELBOURNE NEWS

Culture and heritage

Fast-tracked funding supports artists

A person jumping in the air in front of a sign that reads "Dancing tonight".

We supported more than 700 creatives with funding of up to $4000 per grant to help them invest in new works and present projects digitally, in response to COVID-19.

Our city’s vibrant arts and entertainment industry has been seriously affected by the pandemic. However, isolation has also made people turn to music, books and entertainment more than ever before.

This is why we provided Quick Response Arts Grants to artists who inspire, delight and connect us year-round, and help us make sense of life’s experiences through creative storytelling.

In four weeks we received more than 2000 grant applications. Due to the high calibre of applicants, we increased the total funding pool from $2 million to nearly $2.5 million.

Councillor Rohan Leppert, Chair of the Arts, Culture and Heritage portfolio, said the level of creativity shown in the applications was impressive.

‘Melbourne’s artistic community has been hit hard by the financial impacts of COVID-19, with thousands of cancellations and lost opportunities,’ Cr Leppert said.

‘The aim of these grants is to provide some relief to artists and arts organisations, and to support them in exploring new ways of sharing their creativity.’

Joseph O’Farrell (known as JOF) received a grant to run Lounge Room Dance Jam, an empowering online dance party for young people aged 6 to 12.

The project is an adaptation of JOF’s 10 Minute Dance Parties work, which saw him collaborate with diverse groups of young people to create dance parties in shipping containers in city centres all over the world.

‘The universal nature of dance is a fantastic thing to behold. It’s accessible, silly and something we can share across generations,’ JOF said.

‘Tourists don’t travel to the city because of the great banks or mining firms, they come because of the iconic culture that lives within the cafes, restaurants, galleries and theatres of Melbourne.

‘I am thankful to the State Government and local councils for recognising artists’ contributions and supporting us when we need it most.’

Find out more about JOF’s work on Instagram: @jofmakesart

To learn more about how we support creativity in Melbourne, visit Arts Melbourne.

Meet three more arts grant recipients

Online art exhibition

Joshua Weatherlake got a grant to host an online exhibition of hand-embroidered art depicting flora and fauna.
@adipocere

Short films

Sarah Barton will produce a series of short films showcasing disability rights pioneers.
defiantlives.com

Stop-motion virtual reality

Isabel Peppard will create a stop-motion virtual reality project that explores the complexities of love.
@isabelpeppard77

Share this story

You may also like
Meet some of Melbourne’s youngest buskers

Meet some of Melbourne’s youngest buskers

Meet Daniel and Jade – some of Melbourne’s youngest buskers. At just 11 and 15 years old, this musical sibling duo is taking the city streets by storm. Performing covers of popular chart-toppers on their saxophone and violin, as well as their own original and...

Spectacular photo festival seeks new snaps

Spectacular photo festival seeks new snaps

Be swept away by astounding images and see your artwork on show in the next instalment of Australia’s largest photography festival. PHOTO brings spectacular photography from artists across Australia and around the world to the streets of Melbourne in a series of...

Imaginations run wild in ArtPlay New Ideas Lab

Imaginations run wild in ArtPlay New Ideas Lab

Create fantastical art alongside children with limitless imaginations through ArtPlay’s New Ideas Lab. We're seeking applications from artists from Monday 13 February. ArtPlay has supported more than 300 artists to co-create 60 magical projects with local children and...

Beyond the bookshelf: how libraries change lives

Beyond the bookshelf: how libraries change lives

Our libraries are places full of joy and creativity, where the future is now. City of Melbourne libraries have evolved in many ways over recent years. Demand for books remains high, and use of digital resources like ebooks, audiobooks, films, music and games surged...

Subscribe to our newsletter

Keep up with what's happening in the City of Melbourne by subscribing to the Melbourne newsletter.

You have successfully subscribed!