Blue Mountains City of the Arts Trust launches new grant program to support local artists

Blue Mountains City Council has stepped in to help local artists whose work has been adversely affected during the coronavirus pandemic and restrictions.

A new program will provide 10 grants of $2000, which will enable local artists to engage in web-based projects, research or studio works. It is designed to support the city's arts and creative sectors by providing financial assistance to local artists and arts organisations impacted by the COVID-19 crisis.

Details about the program are available at bmcc.nsw.gov.au/city-of-the-arts-trust. Applications close on Thursday, June 18.

Blue Mountains mayor Mark Greenhill said he was pleased that council's commitment to all parts of the city had not waivered.

"This has been an enormous year. We've been through things that would break many communities, and while it's not easy we are continuing to survive.

"Every person in our community matters and council is committed to doing whatever we can do provide support and assistance.

"The arts are often undervalued, but in the Blue Mountains we know how important the arts are, and how precious the people who work in these areas are," he said.

Councillor Don McGregor said: "About eight per cent of the Blue Mountains workforce are employed in arts, entertainment and creative jobs. That's more than double the national average.

"These people were some of the first to lose work due to the COVID-19 pandemic, and will be some of the last to get work back. And as sole traders and subcontractors, most cannot access the JobKeeper or JobSeeker payments.

"We need to and we must work together to support these artists, and keep the arts and culture alive in the Blue Mountains," he said.