Leading arts figures say live audiences have “disappeared” and small organisations face bankruptcy during the coronavirus crisis, ahead of an emergency meeting with state and federal arts ministers to discuss the unprecedented challenge facing the nation’s cultural institutions.
On Wednesday the federal government restricted the size of “non-essential” indoor gatherings to 100 and flagged that the measures could remain in place for at least six months in a move that will restrict infection rates but put even more pressure on struggling arts bodies.
Opera Australia chief executive Rory Jeffes said there was an urgent need for clarity “about what commitment the government is going to make, both state and federally” ahead of a meeting with federal Arts Minister Paul Fletcher. Mr Fletcher will convene a meeting with his state counterparts on Thursday to discuss how to support the arts and live entertainment industries amid nationwide cancellations.
Without financial assistance Mr Jeffes, whose company delivers over 600 performances each year and is the largest arts employer in the country, said it was “inevitable” some smaller organisations would not survive due to cash flow issues.
“There’s enormous pressure. It’s devastating for all of us … the breadth and creativity of the sector will suffer,” he said…
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