Regional Arts Support in Times of Crisis

Regional Arts Support in Times of Crisis

The Regional Arts Network of NSW has remained committed to providing support to the arts and cultural sector by delivering strategic responses to the COVID-19 crisis. Consisting of 14 Regional Arts Development organisations, this passionate network supported by Regional Arts NSW has continued to champion arts and culture in their regions by providing support, programs and projects to those who live, work and create across regional NSW.

Across the state, each organisation provides strategic direction for sustainable arts and cultural development in regions spanning from the north-eastern pocket of the Northern Rivers to the far-western edge of The Darling, along the banks of The Murray River, across the sweeping plains of The Riverina and everywhere in-between. When the creative industries were hit hard during the pandemic, the network continued to work behind home doors to adapt their services and continue to deliver innovative projects to support the arts and creative industries across the state.

The network has initiated new programs including their own quick response funding support streams. These opportunities have provided a simple and accessible method for those severely impacted by COVID-19 to secure funds to support their creative practice through this crisis. Elizabeth Rogers, CEO for Regional Arts NSW, said:

“The Regional Arts Network of NSW is a unique model for cultural service delivery which remains vital across regional NSW. The collective and strategic response to the regional arts sector during the COVID-19 crisis has amplified the Network’s commitment to supporting cultural development opportunities in the regions they serve.”


The network has taken a leading role in collecting data from artists, creatives and arts organisations regarding the impacts from the crisis and has fed this information to lead agencies such as Create NSW, Regional Arts NSW, Regional Arts Australia and the Australian Government. The data has been used by these leading agencies to develop a response and support package for the sector, notably the three strands of the Regional Arts Fund Boost program from the Australian Government that contain significant additional support for regional artists and arts organisations impacted by COVID-19. Applications for the Regional Arts Fund are now open at

The Arts Northern Rivers team has delivered targeted assistance and support to the Northern Rivers community in response to the devastating impacts COVID-19 is having on the regional arts and creative industries sector. Arts Northern Rivers Executive Director, Peter Wood, explains:

“In addition to the micro grants program, which allowed us to provide over $15,000 in small grants to support our creative community, we have subsidised professional development packages and secured funding to assist the music sector through a showcase and development project once restrictions ease. These responses highlight the value of locally based regional arts development organisations like Arts Northern Rivers to respond quickly and effectively to the needs of our community.”


The recently launched RADO Case Study E-book highlights the work the Regional Arts Network undertake with artists, organisations and local Governments and the integral role the network plays in shaping the arts across regional NSW.

For more information on the Regional Arts Development Network and sustainable arts and cultural developments across regional NSW visit

Artwork by Micro-Grants recipient Cara MacLeod, Hotel Neuhaus, 2011. Self adhesive vinyl on MDF board.
Image courtesy and copyright the artist.