Edition #6 - Midsumma's tips for queer arts, artists and culture makers in the time of COVID-19

Image: Become the One, Midsumma Festival 2019. Photo by Suzanne Balding

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Dorothy was right, in Oz "There's no place like home". As restrictions begin to lift, are we starting to already miss our new found norm? What will come of our love for online art, in-home experiences, and Zoom meetings in pyjama bottoms?

This is Edition #6 of our tips for queer arts, artists and culture makers in the time of COVID-19 and we hope that you are keeping safe and sane. 

Midsumma acknowledges the immense impact that this crisis has on our artists, arts workers, and creatives, as well as all of the members of our communities.

During these challenging times, we are working internally to design new ways to be there for our artists, creatives, culture-makers, and audiences. We are really keen to keep in touch with you, so please contact us and let us know how you are doing if there is anything you are working on and what we can do to assist? 

If you have suggestions, want to share links to your own work or have some great tips and links to share with our queer arts communities, drop us a line at [email protected].


If you are experiencing distress and would like to chat with someone please contact a support network from this list here. Or, The Support Act Wellbeing Helpline is a free, confidential counseling service open to anyone working in Australian music or the performing arts - 1800 959 500.


Artist Articles in response to COVID-19

In Edition #1 of Midsumma's tips for queer arts, artists and culture makers in the time of COVID-19, we called out to our artists to contribute to the Midsumma Blog (a paid opportunity). We received a flood of creatives wanting to share their stories, works, and journeys.

These following pieces were commissioned by Midsumma as a response to the mass loss of the Melbourne queer arts industry (due to COVID-19). This blog is part of a series of works from our LGBTQIA+ arts and culture community that gives Midsumma audiences an insight into the practice of the queer arts and helps to make queer arts and cultures more accessible to diverse audiences in this time of physical distancing.

The first poetry slam I ever entered by Nikki Viveca

The first poetry slam I ever entered I came to in a sweaty rush fresh from dance class. I had come to a word fight unarmed.

Arts Update

Arts Hub Arts Results

The good news is in: restrictions across Australia are slowly lifting, with a national three-step plan in place.

The CovidSafe Australia plan announced by the Federal Government will see a gradual opening up of businesses and libraries in phase one, larger gatherings of up to 20 people in phase two (including cinemas and small theatres), and a move to allow for gatherings of up to 100 people and interstate travel in phase three.

But what does that mean for you? In the most recent reader poll captured between 8-11 May by Arts Hub, they asked you How soon after lockdown restrictions are eased would you go to a live event?

And the results are in...

When will you return to the arts after COVID-19?

Out of 635 people polled, 45.2% said they would wait a month from the time restrictions are lifted before attending a live event with 13.1% of readers stating they would only wait one week.

Audience Outlook Monitor report (Creative Vic)

The first lot of results from the COVID-19 Audience Outlook Monitor are now available. More than 23,000 people participated in the survey designed to track sentiment in Australian audiences and their willingness to return to arts and cultural events and help the sector plan its COVID-19 recovery.

Audience Outlook Monitor report

The research suggests audiences will eventually return to arts and culture events (85%) but most aren’t ready yet. 78% plan to attend just as they did before COVID-19, while 7% are planning to attend more than before

What is our community doing?

This piece was written by Linda McIver who initiated this survey after talking to her local MP about the issues her non-binary child faces at school.

WARNING: some of this content may be distressing for some readers. 

Being Queer at School in 2020

by Linda Mclver

“Our local MP told us that every school in Victoria is "Safe Schools compliant" and they don't hear about any issues, so there clearly are not issues for queer kids in Victorian Schools."

Paid opportunities and fundings

GiveOUT Day

Returning to Australia on Friday 16 October 2020.

GiveOUT Day is here to help LGBTIQ+ projects and community groups take the next step forward. By providing an online platform for these projects and groups to raise funds and build awareness through, GiveOUT Day will inspire the country to get behind LGBTIQ+ communities. Donations made to participating projects through the platform will be matched dollar for dollar.* Pre-pledges will open in the coming months. GiveOUT Day is a project of GiveOUT - formerly The Channel Giving Circle.
*See giveout.org.au/terms for details.

Download the GiveOUT participant's tool kit to find out how you can get involved, or benefit from GiveOUT Day.


Introducing triple j Unearthed's Level Up Grants!

If you’re an Aussie artist wanting to take your career to the next level, triple j Unearthed's has got some massive news for you!

triple j Unearthed's Level Up Grants!

As part of ABC’s Fresh Start Fund, triple j Unearthed are offering fifteen different financial grants to help you level up your music career.

Arts Centre Melbourne Take Over! 2020

Take Over! is a unique partnership between Arts Centre Melbourne and Melbourne Fringe. The program supports visionary artists to push their creative boundaries. Through an open call-out to mid-career and established artists, the program has commissioned and presented three exciting and ambitious world premieres annually since 2017.

Apply here for Take Over! 2020

Applications close on Monday 1 June at 10:00am (AEST)

Take Over 2020! will be both an online and a live project.
Photo: Gregory Lorenzutti

COVID resources

Australian LGBTIQ+ COVID19 Directory from Equality Australia

This is a searchable database of services, community groups, and cultural activities for LGBTIQ Australians during the COVID-19 lockdown. Use this sheet to find your local group and help and/or get help from them. 

You can view and share this database by following this link to the Australian LGBTIQ+ COVID19 Directory

*This is a crowdsourced document, Equality Australia is not accountable for any inaccuracies found in the document.


Keeping you entertained and skilled up

Art courses are now online and free by Arts Manningham

Beginning next week Arts Manningham have a suite of free online art courses available for adults. 

Our art courses are now online and free

Exclusive to Manningham residents and existing studio participants, our tutors will present short programs for adults, via Zoom. Each class will be two 30 minute Zoom sessions with a 15 minute break in between. Registration is essential to receive the link and password. 

For more inspiring entertainment or queer arts funding and opportunities, see Midsumma's Digital Hub for Queer Arts and Artists during COVID-19.

We will keep updating our Midsumma Blog with new opportunities and information. If you (or your friends) want us to share your work, or you have something you want to contribute - hit us up at [email protected].


Rainbow families are excited to experience PRISM at Midsumma Festival

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Tree with purple and orange leaves; a giraffe and guitarist sitting under it; animals and people climbing or in the tree
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