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

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 Nationals in Government through Create NSW.

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.

Ms Cooke said this support from the NSW Nationals in 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 pf the Cowra Shire, I can’t wait to tune in to these amazing stories.”

Cowra Civic Centre Manager Jonathan Llewellyn said the COVID-19 pandemic 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,” Mr Llewellyn said.

“Actors, the director, sound recording, it 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 Nationals in 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 Nationals in Government’s $50 million Rescue and Restart package.