The arts and creative and cultural sectors were dramatically impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. Many within the industries found themselves out of work and have only just started to regain a foothold. With the state election looming, The Examiner has taken a look a what each party is offering, if elected, for those within the creative sectors.
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Arts Minister Elise Archer announced on April 9 that the government, if re-elected, would provide a 50 per cent increase in operational funding for Tasmania's cultural and creative industries.
The program would offer an additional $1.2 million each year, over four years, to assist artists and arts organisations to deliver a range of programs aimed at inspiring communities and audiences.
"We will also invest an additional $200,000 for a small grants program to support Tasmanian artists returning to the 'gig economy'," Ms Archer said.
Ms Archer said the program would provide grants of up to $2000 to assist artists - including sole traders, freelancers and self employed artists - to get back to work.
The grants would be used to purchase equipment hire or upgrades, lessons, workshops and studio hire.
"These additional funds will complement the significant support of more than $11 million our government is providing the state's cultural and creative sector in stimulus and recovery funding," she said.
The party also recently announced if re-elected it would provide an $8 million Events Support Attraction Fund to secure existing, iconic events and festivals. The fund would also be used to attract new events.
Previously the party had announced an additional $4.5 million which was split between Screen Tasmania's Screen Innovation Fund, the Live Performance Reactivation Program and other extra support due to the pandemic.
A further $7.5 million was previously delivered during the after effects of the pandemic, including $2 million to Tasmania's Live Performance Support Program, $2.5 million over two years for a new Arts and Cultural Support Fund, $1 million over two years to support a new program of Community Arts and Cultural Development, $1.5 million in new funding under the Cultural and Creative Industries package, and $500,000 over two years to Screen Tasmania's Innovation Fund.
Labor Arts spokeswoman Jen Butler said a majority Labor government would invest $2.5 million into upgrades for the Princess Theatre and Earl Arts Centre.
The upgrade would improve accessibility and safety, and would enhance the flexibility of the venue.
Ms Butler said it was time to invest, especially after the arts had suffered through a hard year.
"COVID-19 had a profound impact on Tasmania's arts industry and it is crucial the government invests to help the industry rebuild and bounce back," she said.
"This is why a majority Labor Government will invest $2.5 million in upgrades to the Princess Theatre and Earls Arts, with improved accessibility and safety enhancing the venues flexibility and helping the industry recover from a tough year."
Ms Butler said the investment would help a crucial industry in Tasmania.
"Our arts community cannot continue to be ignored and a majority Labor government will support it. Labor is working for Tasmanians to build a strong, vibrant arts sector."
Ms Butler also indicated there would be a more comprehensive arts package released later in the week.
Greens Arts spokeswoman Rosalie Woodruff said lutruwita/Tasmania was celebrated nationally for its vibrant arts scene.
"[If elected] the Greens would enliven our island's arts from the grassroots, reinstating funding to Wide Angle and Theatre Tasmania," she said.
"We would also invest in regional and emerging artists through our Community Arts Grant Fund."
Ms Woodruff added Tasmania also had some of the finest writers in the nation and the Greens would invest in those people too. She promised the party would increase the Premier's Literary Prize to $100,000.
The scope for the prize would also be widened to be more inclusive. The categories would include fiction, non-fiction, poetry, young adult, children, and other genres.
Expenditure wise, Ms Woodruff laid out $880,000 would go to Wide Angle Tasmania, $400,000 would go to Theatre Tasmania, $4 million would go to Regional Arts Grants, $800,000 would go to Emerging Artists Grants and $240,000 would go to the Premier's Literary Prize over the four years, if elected.