The Victorian Government has announced further support for the arts industry during the COVID-19 pandemic, with the Experience Economy Survival Package, which will support arts venues, galleries and museums, as well as sporting clubs and competitions and the racing industry.

Arts Centre MelbourneArts Centre Melbourne

As part of the package – which follows the $13 million Strategic Investment Fund announced last month – more than $32 million will support creative agencies and initiatives, the Victorian Government said, including funding for the Geelong Arts Centre, Museums Victoria, National Gallery of Victoria, Arts Centre Melbourne and Melbourne Recital Centre and $6 million for live music industry workers and to bolster the oversubscribed Sustaining Creative Workers initiative.

“Victoria has the best galleries, museums and performance venues in the country – and one of the best live music scenes anywhere in the world,” said Minister for Creative Industries Martin Foley. “They are central to life in this state and this funding is vital to safeguarding jobs in the $31 billion creative industries economy.”

Arts Centre Melbourne CEO Claire Spencer AM described the Victorian Government’s Experience Economy Survival Package as “an absolute lifeline” for Arts Centre Melbourne. “It’s clear that this is a government who understands precisely the role arts play in contributing to the wellbeing and economy of our state. I’m thankful for this survival funding given to Victorian cultural institutions including Arts Centre Melbourne,” she said. “The arts are so important to wellbeing and to keeping community connected, they literally light up people’s brains and help us feel connected to each other, which is so important – especially during this time.”

“This funding will allow us to continue our online programming Together With You which is keeping audiences connected to the arts while we are closed,” Spencer said. “And it will allow us to pay our team and continue to prepare for our re-opening when it is safe to do so.”