Artists and arts workers in WA who are experiencing hardship due to COVID-19 or any other disasters can apply for targeted financial support from Artist Relief Fund WA. While the organisation previously known as Performing Arts WA has provided confidential support to actors, musicians and other live performing arts workers for 40 years, it’s determined to shine a spotlight on its benevolent services in these unprecedented and challenging times. “The impact of COVID-19 on a sector that was already financially insecure has been devastating,” says Nick Maclaine, Artist Relief Fund WA’s secretary.
“We’re here to support you, whether you’ve been recently working or long retired, and whether you’re an actor, musician, dancer, stage manager or any other professional, onstage or off.”
The Artist Relief Fund provides small grants or loans to eligible live entertainment professionals. For example, it might assist a young actor who can’t afford groceries that week; a retired musician who needs to buy medical equipment; or a dancer who needs to see a psychologist.
“The range of circumstances where we can help are actually quite broad,” explains Maclaine.
“What we find is that many people assume the fund isn’t there for them – that they’re too young, for example, or that there must be someone else who needs us more. But we’re here for people at all stages of their careers, and for anyone who is experiencing hardship – our doors are open.”
Artists and arts workers who wish to confidentially reach out can visit the Artist Relief Fund’s new website artistreliefwa.org.au and download an application form.
“We will support as many WA artists as we can in small but meaningful ways,” says Maclaine.
The Artist Relief Fund’s website provides artists with important resources such as crisis support hotlines and other ways to support each other. It also allows people to donate to the Fund.
“We’re a volunteer organisation, so anything the community can donate will go directly towards giving its arts workers hope and providing them with relief in severe crises,” says Maclaine.
Donations to the Artist Relief Fund are tax deductible through the Australian Cultural Fund’s web site – a fundraising platform for Australian artists managed by Creative Partnerships Australia. Go to australianculturalfund.org.au and search ‘Artist Relief Fund WA’.
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