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Copyright Agency’s Emergency Action Funding attracts huge demand for grants

BY Copyright Agency | 26-May-2020
The Copyright Agency has approved $375,000 in Emergency Action Funding for 45 applications from a groundswell of 420 applicants, indicative of the overwhelming need for support for the Australian creative sector.
Copyright Agency’s Emergency Action Funding attracts huge demand for grants
The emerging writers participating in Centre for Stories’ Indian Ocean Emerging Writers Mentoring project. From left to right :
Raphael Farmer, Priya Chidambaranathan, Raihanaty A Jalil, Priya Kahlon, Simeon Neo, Michael Joboy, Belinda Hermawan, Patrick Gunasekera, and Sarah Marchant.

Photographer credit: Zal Kanga-Parabia
In April the Copyright Agency agreed to allocate $375,000 from its Future Fund to support Australian writers, publishers, visual artists and creative organisations during COVID-19.

Copyright Agency’s CEO Adam Suckling said, “Our Emergency Action Funding was overwhelmed with applications to support writers, publishers, visual artists and creative organisations in a quick-response process.

“The calibre of the applications was incredibly high, which made the allocation of funds very challenging. We were acutely aware of the importance of the funding in enabling authors, publishers and artists to continue their work, as well as providing hope for the creative industry at large, which has been decimated by the impact of COVID-19.

“The Cultural Fund team has worked tirelessly to stretch the funding as far as possible to ensure our support is timely, as well as encouraging and supporting terrific projects.”

A further $10,000 has also been approved to support an integrated promotion of the John Fries Award.

In approving the grants, Mr Suckling says: “This funding will provide surety for many organisations, writers and visual artists to carry on with their craft.

“Funding has been allocated to support virtual delivery platforms for writers’ festivals to ensure writers and publishers continue to stay connected and have a vehicle to discuss and promote their upcoming books,” adds Mr Suckling.

The Emergency Action Funding prioritised support for virtual writers’ festivals and innovative online projects; writers and visual artists to create new work; leading organisations to further promote and support Australian writers and visual artists; and visual arts projects.

Recipients of the Emergency Action Funding have expressed their gratitude for Copyright Agency’s support during this challenging period for the creative industry.

“I am so grateful for the opportunity provided to me by the Copyright Agency, which gives hope to the creative industry in such a difficult time. It will make the most enormous difference, both psychologically and, of course, financially,” says author Maggie MacKellar.

“This doesn’t just make a huge difference to the progress of my project, but broader than that, it’s hugely energising and reassuring, especially during these uncertain times. My gratitude certainly runs deeper than I can put words to,” says Melbourne-based visual artist Dan Elborne.

Some of the organisations to receive the Emergency Action Funding include:

• Sydney Writers’ Festival, Byron Writers’ Festival, Melbourne Writers’ Festival, Brisbane Writers’ Festival and Canberra Writers’ Festival, to create an online festival.
• Love to Read Local in WA, to enable Writing WA to pay ASA rates to WA authors to participate in virtual book club events.
• Centre for Stories in WA, for Writers’ Daily to create a series of online writing produced by emerging and established Australian writers.
• WestWords, for online programs to support writers from Western Sydney.
• TasWriters, to support Tasmanian writers to create new work.
• Artspace Visual Arts Centre, for Jonathan Jones to create a major work.
• Word Travels 2020 Program by Word Travels to deliver online workshops, public forums, mentoring and poetry slam events from June to October as part of the international Australian Poetry Slam (APS) and Story-Week.

Significant funding was also allocated to writers and visual artists to create new works, including:

• Naomi Riddle, to publish new critical writing and commission visual artworks in the journal Running Dog.
• Shireen Taweel for “Switching Codes” , a project that will unpack the Lebanese cultural practice of code-switching between Arabic, French and English via the medium of sculpture and sound
• Tim Bruiges for ‘Music between rooms’, a new response to remote, live sound installation practice
• Established playwrights Alana Valentine and Angela Betzien, to create new plays.
• Maggie MacKellar, to write a novel.
• John Pickerell, to write about the recent bushfires.
• Julie Janson, to write a new novel.

“It was incredibly heartening to see so many within the creative industry apply for funding, as this means artists, writers and organisations – despite the devastating impact of the global pandemic – remain more motivated than ever to produce their works. We are looking forward to seeing these exceptional projects come to life, thanks in part to the support of this funding initiative,” adds Mr Suckling.