How the NSW arts sector is being revived by Labor and Liberal

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Singer-songwriter Andy Golledge said he hoped the summit would “get the ball rolling” through increased stage and artist funding, such as tour grants or funds to upgrade stages, seating and sound systems.

“A universal basic income for artists and musicians would be a dream, but realistically I don’t know if that could happen,” he said.

Pandemic lockdowns forced Golledge to cancel a tour to promote his debut album, but he said he was “lucky enough” to host JobKeeper for a while thanks to casual work at the Marrickville Bowling Club.

“It really put an end to my potential career growth for two years there,” he said. “Emotionally, I suffered a lot from not being able to perform.”

Cr Byrne said the arts and music sectors were in a “state of crisis” after two years of pandemic and economic hardship.

“As we emerge from the pandemic, now is the time to look ahead and identify opportunities for revitalization and recovery,” he said.


Mr Franklin said the state government has spent $350 million on the arts sector during the pandemic “and more funding will become available in the future”.

Franklin welcomed the summit as an “effective way” for the arts industry to collaborate more quickly and efficiently with policymakers to revitalize the industry.

“We will continue to work with the industry to explore appropriate solutions for creatives and organizations affected by COVID-related cancellations and significant disruptions,” he said.

Sydney Fringe festival director Kerri Glasscock said she hoped for a continuation of the bipartisan support for the arts that has sprung up during the pandemic.


The summit was an opportunity to hear from people who don’t normally sit in roundtables or task forces, “and empower them to set the agenda for the future,” she said.

“We really want this event not to be a nagging party focused on past complaints, but an opportunity to reset and rethink.”

Ms Glasscock said the arts sector was entering a transition period as the COVID-19 crisis eased, but the misery of artists and performers predates the pandemic.

“The old corporate structures and deficits of the past are no longer tenable,” she said. “That combined with a decade of pressures the industry has felt ranging from over-regulation, reduced funding, rising costs of living, gentrification and land use conflicts has left our arts and music landscape in a weak position.”

Ms Glasscock said there was “unprecedented support” in NSW for the arts during the pandemic, but many arts and cultural companies were in a weak position.

“I’d love to see a discussion about protecting existing sites and space, how the community can use the incredible array of regulatory levers NSW now has to activate space, and how to support our businesses and artists for success,” she said. .

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