Music industry charity Support Act is encouraging anyone working professionally in music across the arts and who is in financial difficulty as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, to apply for one of their new MusicKeeper or CrewKeeper cash grants.
Since announcing the creation of the new grants in March, which were made possible thanks to funding from the Australian Government through the Office for the Arts, Support Act has received more than 600 applications for help. Payments in support of these applications will exceed $1.2million.
Despite the great uptake, Support Act is urging anyone who works professionally in any genre of music and needs assistance, to visit the Get Help page at supportact.org.au and submit an application. Support Act staff believe that there are many more music workers who may need help, but don’t believe they are eligible or don’t know where to apply.
Clive Miller, CEO of Support Act, explains:
We are pleased with the response to date and delighted that we’ve been able to help many struggling music workers to stay afloat in these uncertain times, but we want to ensure that we are reaching music workers across all genres.
Support Act is the music industry’s charity, delivering crisis relief services to musicians, crew and music workers as a result of ill health, injury, a mental health problem or some other crisis (such as COVID-19) that impacts on their ability to work in music. It was established in 1997 with support from founding members ARIA PPCA and APRA AMCOS, and incorporated as a public company limited by guarantee on 7 August 1997. It was granted charity status in 2000.
MusicKeeper and CrewKeeper are cash grants valued at $2,000 for individuals and $2,700 for families with dependent children. The grants are available to anyone working professionally in music, from singers, musicians and composers to crew, artist managers and administrators. They are for people working across all music genres including rock, pop, indie, classical, country, cabaret, music theatre, heavy, electronic, dance, hip hop, jazz, art music, RnB, soul, blues and folk.
MusicKeeper grant recipient and musical theatre performer, Rhys Velasquez, said:
I had that sort of imposter syndrome that I don’t deserve this kind of help. It took a while for me to come around to even think about applying, but I’m really happy that I did. It made me realise it’s ok to ask for help and take help when you need it.
Soprano Piera Dennerstein added:
I was on Jobkeeper but then those payments stopped. That’s when I reached out to Support Act. They did the most amazing, relieving, wonderful job. They really saved me financially.
The recent government funding has also allowed Support Act to continue to deliver lifesaving mental health and wellbeing programs such as the Support Act Wellbeing Helpline, Manager Support Hotline, First Nations Dedicated Helpline, Mental Health First Aid Training, Workplace Wellness Check Ins, Tune Ups mental health content series, On My Mind open-access webinars and more.
Applications for MusicKeeper and CrewKeeper grants, as well as other help and resources, can be found on the Support Act website – supportact.org.au.
The Support Act Wellbeing Helpline is a free, confidential 24/7 counselling service that is available to anyone working in Australian music or the performing arts. It is supplemented by our Manager Support Hotline and our First Nations Dedicated Helpline. All services can be accessed by calling 1800 959 500.