• First Nations Writers' Australia Network is a first-time recipient of the Arts Council's four-year funding for organisations program. (FNWAN)Source: FNWAN
The Australia Council for the Arts' four-year funding for organisations program was recently revised due to the virus pandemic, with five more Indigenous organisations announced as first-time recipients, but some icons in the sector now face an uncertain future.
Jack Latimore

6 Apr 2020 - 11:55 PM  UPDATED 7 Apr 2020 - 12:10 AM

Five First Nations organisations are first-time recipients of the Australia Council for the Arts' revised four-year funding program, but some iconic institutions in the arts sector have lost their funding and now face an uncertain future.

A total of 13 of the successful applicants for the 2021-2024 funding cycle are First Nations-led, with 28 new recipients in total. They each will receive a grant of up to $500,000 per year, adjusted to a lower level in the first year to spread the funding across a greater number of organisations. 

The Indigenous organisation new to the four-year funding program include: the Ananguku Arts & Cultural Aboriginal Corporation; Broome Aboriginal Media Association Aboriginal Corporation; First Nations Australia Writers Network; Koorie Heritage Trust Inc; and the Quandamooka Aboriginal corporation.

Twenty per cent of the 95 successful applicants announced last Friday identify First Nations peoples and communities as their primary demographic, while 27 per cent are based in regional or remote Australia, said the arts council in a written statement.

The global and nationwide economic impact of the coronavirus pandemic has led to the decision to reduce the level of funding to each organisation in the first year, and is approximately a 70 per cent drop to the level of existing annual funding, reports arts news and listing site, Arts Hub

The reduced funding level for the first year will also support 49 currently funded organisations that were unsuccessful with their 2021-2024 applications. The decision is intended to assist these organisations to transition out into an anticipated fragile future economy.

A number of organisations venerated within the arts sector as iconic institutions will receive the reduced funding in 2021, before facing an uncertain future. These include La Mama Theatre in Victoria, the Sydney Writer's Festival, the Blue Room Theatre in WA, the Australasian Dance Collective in QLD and many others. 

A total of 144 organisation will share $31.7 million between 2021-2024, with the 49 organisations losing funding at the end of 2021.

The 13 First Nations-led organisations that to receive arts council funding in the 2021-2024 cycle include: 

  • Ananguku Arts & Cultural Aboriginal Corporation Arnhem
  • Northern and Kimberley Artists Aboriginal Corporation (ANKA)
  • BlakDance Australia Ltd
  • Broome Aboriginal Media Association Aboriginal Corporation
  • Cairns Indigenous Art Fair Limited
  • First Nations Australia Writers Network
  • Ilbijerri Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Theatre Co-op
  • Kimberley Aboriginal Law and Culture Centre Aboriginal Corporation - KALACC
  • Koorie Heritage Trust Inc
  • Magabala Books Aboriginal Corporation
  • Moogahlin Performing Arts Inc
  • Ngaanyatjarra Pitjantjatjara Yankunytjatjara Women's Council
  • Yirra Yaakin Aboriginal Corporation

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