Create NSW has announced the first round recipients of its Arts and Cultural Funding Program 2019/20 grants, with Australian Romantic & Classical Orchestra, Pinchgut Opera, Sydney Chamber Opera, Four Winds and the Omega Ensemble among the organisations chosen for funding. The new process, touted as a “streamlined approach” by Arts Minister Don Harwin, sees Artform Assessment Boards assess applications and provide recommendations to the Minister, who has final say on any funding decisions. Round 1 includes a little over $7 million in funding across Annual Organisations and Projects.

Australian Romantic and Classical OrchestraAustralian Romantic & Classical Orchestra. Photo © Nick Gilbert

“We set out to deliver a simpler arts funding process with fewer barriers to entry, that provided stability and certainty to more organisations,” said Harwin. “With Annual Organisation applications up 71% on the previous year, and a 20% uplift on the amount of Annual Organisation funding compared with 2018/19, it’s safe to say this has been achieved.”

In the Classical Music sector, the big winners for Annual Organisations funding were Four Winds, with $200,000 to present its festivals and year round activities, the Australian Romantic & Classical Orchestra, with $125,000 in funding for the 2020 season, and the Omega Ensemble, with $100,000 for its 2020 program. The Penrith Symphony Orchestra ($38,332) and Willoughby City Council, for the Willoughby Symphony Orchestra ($50,000) will also receive funding, while those receiving Projects funding include $15,000 for the tenth New England Bach Festival, $19,580 for Penrith Performing & Visual Arts’ Street Notes, and $100,000 for the Australian Haydn Ensemble’s 2020 touring season.

In the Opera, Musical Theatre & Chorus category, Pinchgut Opera tops the Annual Organisation funding recipients, receiving $175,000, followed by Sydney Chamber Opera $94,360, Pacific Opera Company $94,000, Hayes Theatre Co $90,000, The House That Dan Built $85,000 and River City Voices $28,000. The Projects funded are the production and development of a new Australian musical, The Dismissal, by Squabbalogic Independent Music Theatre ($70,000), Sydney Chamber Choir’s 2020 season ($29,545), Nicholas Clow’s 2020 Caldera Classical & Jazz Music Festival ($10,000).

In the Theatre category, the organisations to receive Annual Organisations funding are Performing Lines ($151,000), Contemporary Asian Australian Performance ($123,407), Monkey Baa Theatre Company ($86,250), Theatre Network NSW ($50,000) and Theatre Kantanka ($40,000). Recipients of Projects funding include PACT Centre for Emerging Artists ($70,000), Co-Curious ($50,000), Justin Shoulder ($44,000), Australian Theatre for Young People ($39,000), Crimson Rosella ($25,000) and Tahni Froudist ($13,432).

The Aboriginal Arts and Culture recipients include Moogahlin Performing Arts, Boomalli Aboriginal Artists Co-operative and Armidale & Region Aboriginal Cultural Centre & Keeping Place.

“Across 141 diverse recipients the Boards have used their sector expertise to recommend many new organisations for annual funding including the Sydney Fringe Festival, the Tweed Regional Museum, and the Omega Ensemble, while delivering a broad range of annual and project recipients that make a key contribution to their artforms,” Harwin said. “I’m delighted Round 1 of funding includes $2.7m for regional NSW and $1.4m for Western Sydney individuals and organisations.”

The Full List of Round 1 Recipients