As Australia’s arts and entertainment sector continues to recover from COVID-19, 63 organisations are set to share in more than $19.5 million under the sixth batch of grants from the $200 million Restart Investment to Sustain and Expand (RISE) Fund — with a strong focus on supporting regional and remote communities. Minister for Communications, Urban Infrastructure, Cities and the Arts, the Hon Paul Fletcher MP, said the $19.5 million that will flow to the latest recipients of the RISE Fund is supporting nearly 21,000 jobs in more than 600 locations, more than half of which are located in regional and remote Australia. “The Morrison Government’s objective, in providing this record level of funding for arts and entertainment, is that as the vaccine rollout continues at a strong pace and states and territories open up, arts companies, promoters and festivals are ready to go,” Minister Fletcher said. “This is an important stage in the resurgence of Australia’s arts and entertainment sector, with this targeted RISE funding providing an opportunity for venues to reopen to audiences; curtains to rise; and performers to come back on stage to a welcoming roar of applause.” Amongst the 63 projects being funded, some highlights include: $390,000 for Melbourne Chamber Orchestra to deliver a program of events in regional, outer-urban and metropolitan Victoria with online streaming: including orchestral concerts, chamber music performances and performances for children.$400,000 for Brisbane Powerhouse to deliver Hap Wah Night Market, with high quality handmade objects by Queensland designers and artists, high-impact art and performance, and local produce.$1,000,000 for Gympie Muster to deliver the Gympie Music Muster Revival, showcasing Australian artists at one of the country’s favourite outdoor music and camping festivals. Member of the Creative Economy Taskforce and Artistic Director of Queensland Ballet, Li Cunxin AO, said the funding is being well-distributed across Australia and there is strong diversity of art forms and support for small to medium organisations. “RISE continues to be an important mechanism for supporting the recovery of the arts and entertainment sector and thousands of jobs, particularly in regional and remote locations. The funding will assist with mobilising tourism and other industries in regional areas which benefit from events and activities, and which have been significantly affected by COVID-19 impacts,” Mr Cunxin said. The Morrison Government has now allocated more than $179 million of the $200 million RISE Fund, creating 190,000+ job opportunities and expanding cultural and creative experiences for audiences across Australia.