South East Arts has awarded 34 Micro Grants to artists and art organisations, providing just over $33,000 to the arts in the region. The funding will support a diverse range of proposals from the purchase of equipment and materials lost in the bushfires, to website development and live streaming gear.

Almost 100 applications were received, highlighting the significant impact that bushfires and COVID-19 have had on artists in the region. South East Arts initially supported the one-off grant round from their public fund and then received additional support from the Bega Valley Regional Gallery, through the Regional Arts Fund, as well as from the Eurobodalla and Snowy Monaro Councils.

“Support from our local councils was fantastic and enabled us to significantly increase the number of recipients for the Micro Grants”, explained Andrew Gray, Executive Director of South East Arts. “As we near the end of the financial year, we welcome any tax deductible donations to our public fund that would enable us to keep providing initiatives like this to support our arts sector”.

While many successful Micro Grant proposals will directly help individual artists, there were a number of projects that aimed to support the community in bushfire recovery and dealing with COVID-19 restrictions. These included an online community choir project, community art exhibitions and arts-focused trauma recovery workshops.

“All the applications highlighted the resilience of our arts sector and the ability for a creative response to adversity. While the grants of up to $1000 are only a small amount in the scheme of things, you can see from the applications that artists will use this to value add and build both social and economic benefit”.

“Because of the large volume of applications, there were many excellent proposals that we were not able to support”, said Andrew Gray “but there continues to be a range of arts funding opportunities for both bushfire and COVID-19 recovery and South East Arts is ready to assist and advise people interested in applying”.

Marketing, in particular improving online promotion, was a common need identified in the Micro Grant round. To assist in this area South East Arts is offering a free Beginners Guide to Marketing webinar to be presented by Creative Plus Business on 24 July. Additionally, Laura Jackson – South East Arts Communications Officer – is regularly available to advise people on website design and effective social media skills.

South East Arts is encouraging any applicants from the Bega Valley area to consider participating in Art Month during July/August. This will be a diverse digital program of exhibitions, workshops, panel discussions, virtual artist studio visits, online tours, exclusive gigs and more. Check out the Bega Valley Regional Gallery website for more information.

We’ll keep you posted with updates as these projects come to life. If you’re a successful recipient, we’d love to see what you’re up to! Hashtag #seartsmicrogrants or @southeastarts and we’ll feature different projects on social media over the following months.

Please click here to view a full list of the successful applicants.

*Photograph of The New Graces from Candelo, NSW, taken by Asha Kidd. The New Graces are one of the recipients of the Micro Grants, which will be used towards publicity and promotion of their debut album, Seasons.