Create NSW has announced the recipients of its 2020/2021 Independent Arts and Cultural Organisations (Multi-Year Funding) funding round, with Moogahlin Performing Arts, Ensemble Offspring, Sydney Youth Orchestras, Four Winds, Force Majeure, Shaun Parker & Company, Sydney Chamber Opera, Gondwana Choirs, Sydney Philharmonia Choirs, Moorambilla Voices, Hayes Theatre Co, Pinchgut Opera, Australian Theatre for Young People, Monkey Baa Theatre and Kaldor Public Art Projects among the organisations who will receive funding for up to four years.
Sydney Philharmonia Choirs. Photo © Keith Saunders
The round sees $10 million shared among 58 small to medium arts organisations across NSW, with the final decision on funding made by NSW Minister for the Arts Don Harwin, following assessment by Create NSW’s Artform Boards. According to Create NSW, the $10 million represents an increase of 8.38% on 2019/2020 multi-year funding, with 58 organisations funded instead of 55. Of those 58 organisations, 23 are receiving multi-year funding for the first time.
“I’m delighted this year’s funding has increased to support a greater number of organisations across NSW with almost half of the multi-year funding to be delivered to first-time recipients. This is the security blanket the sector needs right now. It will provide stability with increased funding over a longer period of time,” Harwin said. “We are committed to supporting the NSW arts and culture sector and by ensuring extended financial stability for organisations, we will provide opportunity to enhance excellence in programming and strengthen our community through critical and creative education and enjoyment as recipients focus on the development and presentation of new ideas and practices.”
Sydney Chamber Opera will receive $150,000 per year under the program. “Sydney Chamber Opera is delighted to be receiving multi-year funding for the first time,” Artistic Director Jack Symonds told Limelight. “Our first ten years was about surviving year to year and hoping our forward programming would be able to be funded. Now we have some more security in knowing that at least one of our income streams is confirmed for four years and we are grateful to Create NSW for their ongoing support.”
“This is significant news because this is the first time Four Winds has received multi-year funding from either State or Federal funders,” said David Francis, Executive Director of the Four Winds, which will receive $200,000 per year in funding. “The funding from Create NSW is therefore a significant endorsement of the fact that we have established an amazing quality year-round, impactful program which delivers many creative and performance opportunities for artists, audiences and participants. Our Musicians-In-Schools program now provides music education to over 800 young people each week in our region – igniting a life-long passion for music among the next generation.”
“Audiences and Artists new-found willingness to embrace the digital space has opened new opportunities for Four Winds,” Francis said. “We are now reaching many people who have not been able to travel to our exceptional location on the Far South Coast of NSW through our emerging digital program. Multi-year funding from Create NSW will enable us to explore new possibilities whilst continuing to develop our core program, which culminates in our iconic Easter Festival.”
“2020 is our Centenary,” said Jacqui Wilkins, who is the Chair of the Sydney Philharmonia Choir Board – and a singer with its Symphony Chorus. “We’re a resilient company, producing high quality choral work and growing activity each year.”
The choir will receive $100,000 per year. “We requested funds to extend our impact on the community and to improving health and wellbeing through singing,” Wilkins said. “While the funding received is most welcome, meeting those goals will – sadly – take far longer than planned.”
While Create NSW’s introduction of Artform Boards in 2019 raised questions for many in the arts community, others have been supportive of the changes. “I believe the artform boards provide the necessary expertise and insight to identify and support those organisations which contribute to the development of their artform, and engage audiences and arts participation in NSW,” said Gondwana Choirs Executive Director Bernie Heard.
Gondwana Choirs will receive $160,000 per year for its youth choral training, creating and performing program. “As an arts organisation which has diversified our income sources we are particularly vulnerable in the current climate,” Heard said. “This funding represents five percent of our total income, is essential for our organisation, and we are grateful to Create NSW and the NSW Government.”