Mayor Bill West, Steph Cooke and Cowra Civic Centre Manager Jonathan Llewellyn stand in the foyer of the Cowra Civic Centre. Bill and Steph hold a large cheque between them.
Mayor Bill West, Steph Cooke and Cowra Civic Centre Manager Jonathan Llewellyn

Member for Cootamundra Steph Cooke today announced that Cowra will benefit from $10,000 in funding as part of the NSW Government’s initiatives specifically targeted to the small to medium sized arts and cultural sector impacted by COVID-19.

The Cowra Shire is one of 70 recipients across the state sharing in over $650,000 delivered to NSW independent artists and small to medium arts and cultural organisations across four program categories – Digitise, Creative Koori Digital, Health and Wellbeing and Regenerate, from the NSW Government through Create NSW.

The Cowra Council has secured funding under the Digitise Initiative, and will be commissioning the writing and production of a series of short radio dramas that have a connection with the place and people of Cowra. The project will employ writers, actors, a director and a sound designer to create the plays in a digital space.

Steph Cooke said this support by the NSW Government will enable artists and organisations to digitally deliver projects, support the community and ensure audience engagement in the immediate and long term – including presenting new events that will premiere once it is safe to do so.  

“This pandemic has really hurt our Arts sector, so it is fantastic the many talented people across the Cowra Shire will have the opportunity to take their talents from the stage to the screen and continue performing,” Ms Cooke said.  

“This is a fantastic project which will celebrate the people and talents of the Cowra Shire, I can’t wait to tune in to these amazing stories.”

Cowra Civic Centre Manager Jonathan Llewellyn said COVID had encouraged the arts community to think outside the box and come up with new ways to tell local stories.

“The project insists that everyone doesn’t meet face to face, everything is done in the digital space,” Ms Llewellyn said.

“So actors, the director, sound recording, all has to happen within isolation but in the online environment. So it’s forging new ways to work and the use of new technologies.”

A full list of recipients funded through the NSW Government’s arts and cultural COVID-19 support initiatives is available at www.create.nsw.gov.au.

This funding is a part of the $6.34 million support for arts and cultural organisations impacted by COVID-19 and in addition to the NSW Government’s $50 million Rescue and Restart package.

For more information on these funding programs, visit www.create.nsw.gov.au.