Wollongong City Council has announced new funding grants to support creatives through the challenges of COVID-19.
The council said the one-off $30,000 Creative Wollongong Quick Response Grants scheme was designed to support and showcase the development of new creative work in the Illawarra.
“We’re introducing this grant program as a way to acknowledge, and support, the vital contribution artists, musicians, and performers make to our cultural landscape, and to assist in their creative processes,” Wollongong City Lord Mayor Gordon Bradbery said.
UOW student and photographer Jasmine Tan welcomed the announcement and was excited to have the opportunity to showcase her work.
“Especially working solely without any experience with the public scene here, I am excited to know about this. Showcasing art is an excellent part of the creative process and it’s so inspiring to be able to see what other artists put their heart and soul into,” she said.
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Ms Tan lost paid work due to the COVID-19 restrictions and said the grant program could provide the financial support to exhibit her work.
“Apart from creating studio portraits and independent work, I used to shoot concerts and due to the lockdown, naturally public venues and events have been put to a pause and so has my paid work,” she said.
Ms Tan said the COVID-19 restrictions were a challenge but she had found a positive in the time it had provided to reflect on her creative processes.
“The limits have pushed me to find infinite ways to make any boundary a guideline instead of a rulebook. I think if I’m able to create something extraordinary at home, I think I’m going to be able to do that even easier outside,” she said.
Illawarra graphic designer and illustrator Sofia Cavelli has also found the social-distancing measures had delivered more time to focus on her creativity.
Ms Cavelli welcomed Wollongong City Council’s grants for local artists, but said: “It is an amazing idea, if only people knew.”
The Creative Wollongong Quick Response Grants of up to $1,500 will be awarded in fortnightly rounds.
The announcement of Wollongong City Council’s funding boost for Illawarra creatives has largely gone unnoticed.
— Savannah Meacham (@savannahmeacham) April 29, 2020