Castlemaine State Fest offers grants to creatives

Virus or no virus, come March next year the Castlemaine State Festival will happen, its director says.
Exactly what form it takes will be guided by the level of restriction in place at the time, but festival director Glyn Roberts says planning for the March 19-28 festival is factoring in adaptation to the shifting COVID-19 landscape.
“The short answer is yes,” he says as the festival announces a suite of $15,000 in new grants for local creatives to produce work for potential inclusion.
The We Are Here COVID-19 artist relief grants have opened and eligible artists now have until July 22 to apply with successful projects announced mid-August.
“The message would be get in quick. They’ve already started coming in,” the festival director says.
“We are planning on presenting a festival in late March 2021 and we’re currently looking at all scenarios and formats that are safe and possible.
“It’s our hope and desire no matter what happens that over that period in late March we can allow the town and the region to feel like something of the festival is possible, even if we are plunged into full lockdown, and give people a bit of beauty and wonder and inspiration.”
Bureau of Communications and Arts Research analysis shows cultural and creative activity is worth around $111 Billion to Australia’s economy annually.
The Castlemaine State Festival injects a significant sum both directly and indirectly into the local economy
“The direct economic impact is close to $4 million every festival and the indirect ripple effect is somewhere around $60 million. That’s per festival,” Glyn says.
“It has a huge ripple effect.”
As the arts as a whole grapples with the COVID-19 damage, Glyn views the natural creativity of the sector as a significant asset.
“We’re hoping to be led by the ingenuity of artists,” he says.
“We want to at least have a modicum of projects that can respond to even the darkest and most restrictive of times.”
For full details about the We Are Here grants, creatives are encouraged to visit castlemainefestival.com.au/commissions

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