Support Act has welcomed an additional $20 million in funding announced by the Australian Government through the Office for the Arts to assist music industry and performing arts workers who are struggling due to the ongoing impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The latest round of funding, announced today, will allow the charity to continue to bring much-needed relief to those in the music industry who have lost work, gigs and their livelihoods due to the ongoing lockdowns and restrictions.

At the request of the Government, the charity will also expand its crisis relief program to include live performing arts workers, namely those working in theatre, dance and circus.

Clive Miller, CEO of Support Act, explains: “It’s a difficult time for everyone working in the creative sector at the moment, and particularly those working in live performance. 

“Lockdowns and restrictions are impacting music and performing arts workers around the country, and many are falling through the cracks when it comes to the other federal and state funds available.

“What’s clear is that the impacts of the Delta variant are going to be felt for quite some months, and this additional support from the Government will help to ensure that more people are able to access our crisis relief and mental health and wellbeing services.”

Support Act will open applications to performing arts workers from 23 August, once it has had the chance to modify its existing processes and bring on additional support staff. Applications from music workers will continue to be processed as normal.

Support Act COVID-19 Crisis Relief Grants (formerly known as MusicKeeper/CrewKeeper) are valued at $2,000 for individuals and $2,700 for families with dependent children. The grants are available to anyone working professionally in music or the performing arts, provided they meet a set criteria.

To date, Support Act has processed more than 4,506 Crisis Relief Grants to artists, artist managers, crew and music workers for a total value of $10.9 million.

It has also developed and implemented life-saving mental health and wellbeing programs such as the Support Act Wellbeing Helpline, First Nations Support Line, Manager Support Hotline, Mental Health First Aid Training, Workplace Wellbeing Check-Ins, On My Mind open access webinars for both Indigenous and non-Indigenous audiences, early intervention programs Press Play and Plug In, Money Money Money financial wellbeing training, Sexual Health and Safety support and more.

The COVID-19 Crisis Relief Grant application form, as well as other help and resources including video testimonials from our current service users, can be found here.

The Wellbeing Helpline, Manager Support Hotline and First Nations Support Line can all be accessed by calling 1800 959 500.