Wednesday, May 29, 2024

Cultural recovery takes centre stage

The Government’s Arts and Culture COVID Recovery Programme has helped protect the cultural sector from the worst early impacts of COVID-19 in its first full year of funding (to 30 June 2021), a new report has shown.

“The Government’s strong economic management and investment in the arts and culture sector in response to COVID-19 has protected jobs, supported livelihoods and cushioned the blow for the arts and culture sector,” Minister for Arts, Culture and Heritage Carmel Sepuloni said.

“The report shows, that up to 30 June 2021, our Government’s significant investment in the sector has created over 1,500 jobs, many of these in the Arts and Creative sector.”

In addition to creating and protecting jobs, the results show that the Government’s focus on securing the recovery has helped cultural organisations stay afloat, and encouraged New Zealanders’ ongoing participation in, and enjoyment of, the arts, the Minister said.

“Right across the sector, we’ve seen great resilience and adaptability. If we look at Te Papa for example, they used the circumstances to further connect with domestic audiences, delivering a summer programme tailored to Kiwis. The result was a huge boost in New Zealanders discovering, or rediscovering, the magic of Te Papa.”

“Of course, some parts of the sector were more vulnerable to COVID-19 conditions. This data paints a picture of a cultural sector still in recovery, but one that is making strides towards building back better,” Ms Sepuloni said.

The Manatū Taonga COVID-19 Response Impacts Report 2020/21 focuses on the initial impacts of 13 initiatives delivered during the first year of the four-year Arts and Culture COVID recovery programme. These initiatives have received $94 million of support from the total $374 million programme. The report covers the time period to 30 June 2021.  

The Arts and Culture COVID Recovery Programme was designed to deliver short-term relief as well as longer-term support for the arts and culture sector, which was hit hard by COVID-19. The programme targets economic recovery, better access and participation, and supporting vibrant, innovative sectors going forward.
The Report found that the COVID-19 response has been successful overall in supporting recipients to survive the immediate challenges posed by COVID-19 in 2020/21.

“The data provides heartening optimism and shows that the financial support provided by Government to the sector over the next several years will have a positive impact on employment and economic activity in the arts and culture sector and wider economy.”

“Delta has changed the rules of the game considerably, which is why when Delta hit, we worked as fast as we could to reprioritise funding to meet the cultural sector’s need for urgent support.

“In the new year, I’ll look to undertake bilateral meetings with my counterparts across the globe to compare our responses to COVID-19 in the arts and culture sector, as we continue to evolve and adapt our approach in a rapidly changing environment.

“As we continue to face the challenges posed by the pandemic, it’s encouraging to see our Government’s support is paying off with the positive impact reflected in the data,” Minister Sepuloni said.

Click here to read the full report.

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