Arts funding processes should be more transparent and provide improved feedback to applicants in the assessment process, a Legislative Assembly committee says.
The tripartisan committee recommended artsACT, the government body tasked with overseeing the territory's arts sector, make funding eligibility criteria clearer.
The recommendation came after Tuggeranong Arts Centre director Rauny Worm last year said she and her team "felt really slapped in the face" after receiving half the amount the centre applied for in a COVID-19 emergency funding round.
The Belconnen Arts Centre was granted more than $1 million in the same one-off fund announced in May 2020.
In February hearings into annual reports, the Standing Committee on Economy and Gender and Economic Equality heard the Tuggeranong Arts Centre applied for $99,102, but was awarded $54,102.
Arts Minister Tara Cheyne advised the committee that after making the initial request, the Tuggeranong Arts Centre informed the ACT government it had received $45,000 in federal funding to cover staff salaries for three months.
"All requests were assessed by artsACT and ACT Treasury on demonstrated financial need and within the available budget, and on this basis the government subsequently approved $54,102 to the Tuggeranong Arts Centre," Ms Cheyne told the committee.
"This funding is in addition to over $649,000 annual ACT government funding provided to the Tuggeranong Arts Centre."
ArtsACT director Sam Tyler told the committee the individual circumstances of each arts organisation were different.
"The allocation of funding was based on analysis of their financial position, the application which was made, and their ability to remain solvent throughout that COVID period," Ms Tyler said.
Ms Cheyne this week said the ACT government welcomed the recommendations and would respond in due course.
"Over the last 12 months we were proud to be able to provide more than $7.6 million in total COVID-19 support for the Canberra arts sector to assist during these difficult times," Ms Cheyne said in a statement to the Sunday Canberra Times.
"We work, and will continue to work, closely with our arts organisations and local artists to provide as much support as we can during funding rounds."
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