Many arts companies are based in Sydney, and even if they aren’t, the city serves as a massive population base for touring any kind of performance. Thursday July 29th saw the city’s highest-ever number of new COVID-19 infections, meaning the city is likely to endure several more months of lockdown.
Artists, touring companies, arts media, and miscellaneous services will all be staring down the barrel of another stretch without their usual income. It’s the perfect time to consider a donation or initiative that directly supports the arts industry – a sector that employs an estimated 350,000 people in Australia – and here are a few places you can do it.
The leading Australian charity for the music industry, Support Act was founded in 1997 and continues to do essential work to this day. Throughout the COVID-19 crisis they’ve remained a critical voice for the industry, running consistent initiatives to support those who’ve lost income or their jobs entirely as a result of the times. They also run the Support Act Wellbeing Hotline, Australia’s only free, confidential counselling service for the arts industry.
There are a number of ways to donate to Support Act. You can make a direct contribution, sign up as an ongoing member, make a donation on behalf of a mate, and more. A common form of support is contributing a percentage of sales from events, merch sales, or anything else you have going on.
Find a full run-down of ways you can help Support Act here.
Community radio stations are amongst the most critical members of Australia’s local music scenes, often serving as the first port of call for new artists to get recognition and airplay. They’re also not-for-profit, relying on volunteers and supporters to keep their lights on and keep playing incredible new Aussie music.
Along with making you feel good, membership often comes with benefits such as access to competitions, free tickets, and more. Find a list of links to support some of Australia’s leading community radio stations below:
As mentioned, many artists and companies are already donating a portion of their income to charities like Support Act, or directly to musicians. Check out a few below:
On top of the above, you can donate to or otherwise support any of the charities that are consistently helping out artists and arts businesses around Australia. A few of our favourites are below:
On top of all those wonderful suggestions above, there’s another simple way to support the arts: buy stuff. Every record, t-shirt, ticket, or product that you purchase is a little bit of help for a sector that’s literally in crisis. Where possible, buy directly from artists’ websites, or from Bandcamp on Bandcamp Fridays (the next being August 6th), to ensure that the artists themselves earn a bigger portion of your dosh.
Keep your tickets for rescheduled shows, buy an extra record or two, and bite the bullet on that band tee you’ve been eyeing off. A little goes a long way right now.