Four central Victorian arts organisations will share funding package designed to help the state's arts sector survive the coronavirus pandemic.
Arena Theatre Company, Castlemaine State Festival, Punctum Inc and Castlemaine Art Museum - along with almost 100 non-government arts and cultural organisations including festivals, performing arts companies, museums and galleries - will receive part of the $16.8 million funding along.
Punctum Inc artistic director Jude Anderson said announcement was a welcome piece of good news after a lot of bad news for the arts industry.
When group gatherings were banned as part of COVID-19 restrictions, Punctum was forced to close its work Kultur-All Makaan featuring the region's South Sudanese, Hazara and Karen communities.
"(The shutdown) has affected us in very concrete ways and hard line ways," she said.
"We had a work that was meant to be extended over several weeks and was the culmination of two years that work closed after few days. About 48 people were employed on that.
"Other programs where presenting were postponed. We're down to a skeleton staff and it's difficult to know how to develop timelines to speak with suppliers and artists critical to making work.
"It's really important to keep making things. Small to medium organisations like us, as a collective, generate $270 million for Victorian economy and employ eight per cent of the work force."
Castlemaine State Festival director Glyn Roberts said the funding would help the festival in the short term.
"It will help any organisational shortfall," he said. "We were hoping to launch our new headquarters at the Castlemaine Good Shed and the Creative Industries Hub but that's all on the backburner.
"That was a project to give the festival home and a method of us obtaining a greater sense of sustainability, but it has slowed down.
"(This funding) will go to any major shortfall in revenue that we were hoping to be getting from that, the shortfall in revenue from other government grants, philanthropy from people who rightly have their focus on other directions."
Mr Robert said CSF organisers are still committed to presenting next year's event.
"We are working form home and are busier than ever and devoted to putting on the festival next March," he said.
"The true financial impact will be more apparent in coming months. We luckily have a very long runway (and) have been spared a lot of the impact that other colleagues with year-round programs have.
"All stands between us and real problems is time. Even if things loosen up, the way people might gather and come together, which is what our festival is to people, may be drastically different because of changes at safety and societal level."
Arena Theatre Company executive director Sharon Custer said Victoria had always been a creative state.
"It is to be in Victoria, where the government understands the arts sector's value to the community," she said. "(This funding) is a great start but it's hard to know what damage has been over a long period. We'll just wait and see how long this plays out and what the long term damage.
"We're still operating and working from home on some exciting projects that will exist online."
Victorian minister for the arts Martin Foley announced the arts survival package at the weekend with $13 million going to a strategic investment fund, $2.2 million to sustain creative workers and $1.6 million to go to the arts sector through VicArts Grants.
"Victoria is proudly the creative state. Even in these unprecedented times, our creatives continue to find ways to connect and inspire us - but they are doing it tough and they need our help," Mr Foley said.
"Ensuring that our cultural and creative sector gets through to the other side of this crisis will be critical to Victoria's economic, social and cultural recovery."