More than 50 artists will receive grants as part of an extension to the ACT government's Homefront scheme, which was designed to support creative sector workers whose usual income sources had dried up due to the economic impact of coronavirus.
A further 59 artists have received a share of a $450,000 expansion to the scheme, while $375,000 has been earmarked for a creative recovery and resilience program to support 30 arts sector jobs in the ACT.
Arts Minister Gordon Ramsay said the ACT government had committed more than $6 million in stimulus to the territory's arts sector.
"Artists and the arts perform an essential role in our society and we recognise the sector has been significantly impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic," Mr Ramsay said.
Fashion designer Julianna Peric said a $10,000 grant would help her connect with more customers for her business. Ms Peric makes small runs of clothing in specialty fabrics from home.
She said working in fashion allowed her to bring joy to people's lives.
"It's not so much being a fashion designer, you end up being a counsellor, too, listening to everyone. I love people - you get to hear their stories, you're then becoming involved in their lives, it's a bit of everything," Ms Peric said.
Ms Peric said the suspension of the Old Bus Depot Markets had seen her business slow, but she said there was a growing group of people looking for local, quality fashion.
"The older clientele, people in the know, they tend to value it more. And they like to know the designers make it," she said.
Comedian Chris Ryan welcomed a Homefront grant, which she had applied for under the first round, as a big psychological boost.
Ms Ryan said she had a festival show ready to go at the start of the year, but after six performances in Brisbane coronavirus had disrupted the rest of her first national tour.
Now, Ms Ryan is looking to tweak her material - which had been driven by the Black Summer fires - to take into account coronavirus, which had "taken over the narrative of the universe".
"I may need to tweak what I present as content, but I would certainly love to present some kind of online showcase of what I do. I may do it myself, I may showcase a bunch of people - I'm not sure yet. ... Of course it's great to get some financial help," she said.
Mr Ramsay said the creative recovery and resilience program was being developed in consultation with the ACT's arts sector, and a working group would be formed as part of the program's development.
More information about the program would be available in the coming weeks, he said.
"It will provide more income opportunities for artists, raise the profile of the arts, build skills and networks with other sectors, encourage connectedness and creative thinking within our community, contribute to place-making and enhance pride in our city," Mr Ramsay said.