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Creative Australia Announce Over $17 Million In New Funding For Live Music, First Nations Art & More

7 February 2024 | 11:55 am | Ellie Robinson

The org says their latest investments will “lead to the creation of thousands of new works, and help Australian artists, musicians and industry workers reach and engage with new audiences and markets”.

Creative Australia

Creative Australia (Supplied)

Creative Australia have broken down their latest round of Government funding – tallying up to an impressive $17.28 million – which they say will “lead to the creation of thousands of new works, and help Australian artists, musicians and industry workers reach and engage with new audiences and markets”.

The bulk of the funding – $12.96 million, or 75 percent – is going towards a cumulative batch of 270 creative projects, said to be “supporting new works and an array of activity”. This, reps for Creative Australia noted in a press release, includes an investment to Music Australia, the organisation’s new dedicated body “established to support and invest in Australian contemporary music”.

“With the establishment of Music Australia, we are now able to offer more substantial support for contemporary music,” director Millie Millgate said in a formal statement. “These investments will help propel Australian talent onto both national and global stages whilst ensuring the creation of new contemporary work and the presentation of key industry events.” 

A further $2 million will be spread across seven live performing arts organisations, who between them will tour productions to around 100 unique locations around Australia, including regional and remote areas. Creative Australia are also making a separate investment of $563,700 to support 23 “contemporary music tours”, which will travel to more than 150 unique locations.

Finally, $1.76 million is being invested into projects designed to drive international engagement – 76, to be exact – with the ethos of these projects being to “support Australia’s engagement internationally after the impact of pandemic border closures”.

It’s noted that funding will benefit local artists like Jessie Lloyd, Sophie Hutchings, Tropical Fuck Storm, Girl And Girl, Speak Percussion, Lucas Abela, Melbourne Jazz Limited and Gut Health, among others. Industry figures like Bonnie Knight will also benefit, as will Music In Exile (a not-for-profit record label and artist services organisation).

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Among the events to receive funding include The Gong Crawl, the Australian Folk Festival Organisers National Conference, the Music Producers and Engineers Guild Awards, and the Electronic Music Conference.

Creative Australia also pointed out that the funding includes “a focus on nurturing First Nations talent”. Of the 23 recipients of the org’s contemporary music touring grants, First Nations artists include Emma Donovan, Dan Sultan, Jungaji, Buddy Knox, Lucas Proudfoot and Selve.

The org is also finding the first solo album from Eastern Torres Strait Islander artist Kiwat Kennell, which is being co-written by Sultan. And the international engagement fund will benefit support workers from the Cairns Indigenous Art Fair (CIAF), funding their trip to the the Venice Biennale “to expand international markets”.

In a statement of her own, Alice Nash – Creative Australia’s Director of Arts Investment – said she and her team are “excited to invest in such a diverse and exciting range of arts and creative activity and help deliver the aims of the National Cultural Policy for a thriving creative nation”.

She added: “We know from our research, Australia is a nation that engages with arts and culture, and we recognise the positive impact this has: for lives, our communities and economy.”