Grant to boost local arts scene and drive employment
A major federal government investment will help Umbrella Studio to grow Makerspace, creating income for artists and artworkers.
Federal Member for Herbert Phillip Thompson said the $257,611 grant, provided under the Restart Investment to Sustain and Expand (RISE) program, would be a major boost for the sector which has been hit hard during the COVID-19 pandemic.
“This is a gamechanger for Umbrella Studio. The Makerspace is such an important facility for local artists and this investment will allow it to be used for digital workshops and onsite programs,” Mr Thompson said.
“This isn’t just about providing more opportunity for people to engage with art, it’s about the employment opportunities that will come with it
“Makerspace has connections with hundreds of artists and this new project will give more than a hundred of them each year the opportunity to run these programs on a contractual basis.”
Umbrella Studio Director Kate O’Hara said the funding would kickstart the new business arm which would eventually become self-sustaining
“The RISE funds will go towards a program of activation to grow the Makerspace user-base and audiences,” Ms O’Hara said.
“Through this program we will create a sustainable new multi-arts business arm accessing new markets online through digital workshops, creating onsite programs for primary and secondary schools, the corporate sector, community organisations and the general public.
“Based on our planned activities it will see us creating an annual participation of 2,895 in workshop ticket sales.”
Ms O’Hara said she was overjoyed to hear the news of Umbrella’s successful funding application.
“It is so important now in light of the COVID-19 pandemic that we have a functional space for our organisation and our artists to generate income to help them get back on their feet,” she said.
“While art-sales are suffering from a market downturn with the economic uncertainty of the pandemic, we are experiencing increase demand for creative workshops.”
Mr Thompson said the Makerspace project was an excellent example of what the RISE program has set out to achieve.
“This isn’t just about funding one-off shows or exhibitions, it’s about helping to create employment opportunities and provide those flow-on benefits to supporting industries like audio-visual and hospitality,” he said.
“We’ve just announced an extra round of $125 million in funding over the next two years, so I hope to see even more Townsville-based organisations apply and receive support.”
Townsville-based company Dancenorth has also received a $350,000 grant under the program, supporting a two-year local events program.
• The purpose of the $200 million RISE Fund is to support the arts and entertainment sector to reactivate by funding the presentation of new or re-shaped cultural and creative activities and events disrupted by the COVID-19 restrictions.
• Eligible organisations are those with the primary purpose of delivering arts and entertainment activities that demonstrate that in the absence of funding, the activity would be substantially less likely to proceed as a consequence of COVID-19.
• The Fund was announced as part of the Government’s Creative Economy Support Package in 2020 and extended in 2021.