Supporting creative industries during the COVID19 pandemic

This work is part of the City of Sydney's COVID-19 pandemic response

We know the City of Sydney is the heart of the state’s cultural sector, and we know that sector is really hurting. Facilities are closing, and opportunities to work are rapidly diminishing. This has been a terrific shock to everyone who works in this space – from artists, actors and musicians to producers, technicians and back stage staff. What we’re trying to do is support them through this period of survival, to continue creative development and make sure they’re ready for the renaissance when we’re able to move past the coronavirus.

We stand together with those who bring us so much joy, and who help us reflect on and understand the world we live in – especially during this crisis.

We've introduced three new funding initiatives to support cultural and creative organisations during the COVID19 pandemic. 

The Cultural Sector Resilience Grant Program, valued at $25 million, will provide immediate financial support to the not-for-profit and sole traders who are often reliant on individual grant rounds and project based funds to maintain their minimal staff and to pay their artists. Institutions can apply for funds, including to curate creative development programs with groups of artists.


The Creative Fellowships Fund

Valued at $1 million, will support artists to engage in creative development of works and initiatives driven by the cultural sector, and to purchase materials and e The works can be presented during or after the crisis has passed.

The City has also fully refunded creative organisations that planned to hold concerts and events planned in Sydney Town Hall. Street-side banner bookings for events that have been cancelled due to COVID-19 have also been fully refunded.  

Sector-Led Crisis Support Fund 

The City has set aside $250,000 to will provide direct donations to existing, locally operated, online platforms Support Act NSW, the Artists Benevolent Fund and the Actors Benevolent Fund, who are raising funds to provide emergency relief and mental health support to local cultural workers in crisis.

Whats On

Due to a large number of creative organisations moving events and concerts online, we have re-geared our events website, Sydney Whats On, to promote virtual talks, courses, music and workshops.

Many of the events and programs the City has supported through our grants programs have shift online and are being advertised on WhatsOn. This includes Surry Hills Live, which is continuing to bring music to our pubs, but is now streaming these performances into people’s homes.