The cancellation of La Boite’s 2020 mainstage season saw us facing a 75% decrease in our earned income this year. Federal Government stimulus packages, including JobKeeper, has saved the company during this extremely uncertain time. These packages have enabled us to continue to develop new work, pivot to digital outcomes, advocate and consult with our communities, continue to support our 12 full-time team members and activate – within the restricted limitations – our spaces for artists.
Although JobKeeper is beneficial in sustaining existing arts organisations, it fails to respond to the tiers within the arts sector and our colleagues are suffering as a consequence, due to their ineligibility to benefit. During the 2019/20 financial year we engaged more than 115 casual staff and 63 short-term contract artists and creatives. JobKeeper’s strict eligibility criteria meant we could only extend support to 25 of these 178 hard-working and dedicated team members. The current qualifying criteria places us and other arts organisations in the uncomfortable position of being unable to support the majority of our sector: those artists, creatives, technicians and crew not in the privileged position of belonging to a company or organisation.