The New South Wales Government has announced a new funding initiative open to artists and musicians to coincide with international Make Music Day, marked annually on 21 June. Musicians in NSW now have the opportunity to apply for one of six individual $15,000 grants awarded by the state, to be put towards performances from 20-21 June as part of the celebrations.

Create NSWEORA College Students at the Grand Concourse at Central Station for Make Music Day 2019. Photo © Murray Harris

As Minister for Planning and Public Spaces Rob Stokes explains, the grants are intended as a lifeline to musicians still feeling the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic which saw the arts industry brought to a standstill nationally.

“This is a great opportunity for local artists who have done it tough during the COVID-19 pandemic to perform in some of the State’s most popular public spaces,” said Stokes.

What began in France in 1982 as Le Fete de la Musique, a day in which the public are encouraged to engage with local musicians, has spread internationally over the last 40 years, observed in over 1000 cities annually and supported in different capacities by international governments on both state and federal levels. In past years, Sydney has seen performances from a 500-strong choral flash mob to livestreamed concerts for the Sydney Symphony Orchestra, however last year saw the events shifted online as a result of covid restrictions.

State Minister for the Arts Don Harwin is confident that these grants will help re-establish Australian musicians on an international stage. “NSW has an incredible calibre of live music acts to showcase to the world so we are inviting individuals, groups, bands, and more to apply,” said Harwin, “This funding will be music to the ears of local musicians and their communities, who have been robbed of so many opportunities due to the pandemic.”

These new grants build upon previous funding provided as part of the Summer Fun(d) earlier this year, which was intended to help bring performers and audiences into shared public spaces around NSW.

Applications for Make Music Day grants will remain open until the 16 May

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