BY SIMONE KEALY
Creatives are giving back using money they received from the City of Melbourne arts grants.
Grant recipient, author and playwright Gabriel Bergmoser said he is using the money to pay creative guests who have been adversely affected by COVID-19, on his new podcast, ‘Was It Worth It?’.
“I’ve been conscious about approaching people whose income has been damaged by [COVID-19],” Mr Bergmoser said.
“Every little bit helps at the moment, and I think it’s really important that creatives keep creating.”
Mr Bergmoser said he wanted to remind the public, through his podcast, that creatives are still active in the Melbourne community.
“I think it’s really important that creatives have the chance to talk about their process, have a chance to talk about what they’re doing.”
Mr Bergmoser said it was important for the public to support creatives during the pandemic.
“Wherever you can, keep paying for art,” he said.
Mr Bergmoser said he also hopes the podcast will help those struggling during the COVID-19 pandemic.
“I’m just really hoping it will provide some distraction and some entertainment in the middle of a time where we really need distraction and entertainment.”
Melbourne-based writer and comedian Catherine Deveny, who received $2800 from the City of Melbourne, said she is creating a free series of online writing classes to help those struggling during the pandemic.
“I really wanted to be useful and give people something to look forward to,” Ms Deveny said.
“This is going to be so hard for so many people.”
Ms Deveny said she wanted the classes to be free because she didn’t want access to be an “impediment” for anyone.
“It worked very well with my values,” she said.
Another reason Ms Deveny applied was to be a part of the City of Melbourne’s creative culture.
“I can make a great product which is really going to resonate with the City of Melbourne’s values.
“I want to make the City of Melbourne look good.”
Although Ms Deveny felt “grateful” and “very honoured” that she received the grant, the $2800 only partly covered the cost of her classes, she added.
“[The grant’s] useful, don’t get me wrong, but it’s not a deal-breaker,” she said.
The City of Melbourne said in a statement that they received “an overwhelming response from the creative community”.