Children performing at the Four Winds Easter concert near Bermagui in 2018. Image courtesy National Museum of Australia.
The executive director of Four Winds, which hosts the biennial Four Winds international music event at Barragga Bay, near Bermagui, and which supports many other local arts initiatives, says he's concerned the Federal Government's $250 million dollar arts industry package may miss Far South Coast artists.
In a statement released by Four Winds David Francis said, "The Far South Coast of NSW has some fantastic established arts organisations, many of which exist in the independent, small - medium space. It’s going to be really important, particularly for our region that these sectors are factored into these initiatives – and not just for loans, which can create their own challenges going forward.
"Having seen recent government initiatives following the bush-fires and during COVID miss many independent workers and artists in the sector – many of whom are represented in our region - I hope that will not be the case with this new funding."
Mr Francis said it "was good to see the Federal Government acknowledging the significance of the Arts industries economic and cultural contribution to the country by offering support at this time, when much of the industry remains closed or severely restricted."
"As always with these announcements the devil will be in the detail. However, there appears to be an emphasis on ‘new’ in the guidelines which could be a concern for existing arts organisations who are focused on reigniting their existing programs, particularly where they have an established audience.
"There is a danger that new activity will be created across the sector just to attract funding, as opposed to it responding to a real creative drive or audience demand; in the long term that doesn’t lead to a sustainable sector," Mr Francis said.