$100m disbursed for arts groups

April 30, 2020

The $150 million Arts & Culture Sector Subsidy Scheme has disbursed about $100 million so far to assist various arts groups and freelance arts workers, the Home Affairs Bureau announced today.


The scheme was established under the Anti-epidemic Fund to assist the arts and culture sector to tide over difficulties arising from COVID-19.


Since March, the bureau has dispersed over $50 million in subsidies to nine major performing arts groups, 14 venue partners of the Leisure & Cultural Services Department, 33 grantees of the bureau’s Arts Capacity Development Funding Scheme, the Hong Kong Arts Festival Society and the Maritime Museum for them to pay the salaries of their staff, contractors and freelance workers as much as possible.


Under the scheme, the bureau has entrusted the Arts Development Council to implement the Support Scheme for Arts & Cultural Sector totalling $50 million, covering performances and activities affected by the epidemic from January 29 to June 30.


In addition to the continued provision of approved year grants and project grants, the council has dispersed an additional $80,000 subsidy to each of the 42 organisations receiving grants from the council and $15,000 subsidy to each of the 203 projects funded or activities commissioned by the council in March for them to pay the salaries of their staff, contractors and freelance workers as much as possible.


Regarding arts projects not funded by the council and freelancers, they are also covered by the support scheme.


The council has received applications from more than 340 relevant projects and about 2,000 freelancers. The council will approve the subsidies to eligible applicants as soon as possible.


Arts and culture freelancers may also apply for up to $7,500 in subsidies from the council for other arts and culture jobs affected by the epidemic.


Meanwhile, from January 29 to April 30, around 200 professional Cantonese opera performances have been cancelled, affecting about 700 practitioners.


Since April 23, the Chinese Artists Association of Hong Kong, engaged by the bureau, has started to disburse subsidies to Cantonese opera practitioners.


The bureau is in discussion with the association about covering the performances scheduled for May and June in the scheme as well.

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