Bendigo's Ulumbarra Foundation is planning on supporting performing arts organisations despite being unable to fundraise this year due to COVID -19.
The organisation's efforts come as the Australia Council released survey research showing the support and important of performing arts and creativity in Australia.
The Ulumbarra Foundation is accepting applications for it's latest round of Power Up grants that help not-for-profit groups develop arts activities over the next 12 months.
Two rounds of funding worth up to $5000 each will be awarded.
Ulumbarra Foundation chair Gordon McKern said the organisation remained in a strong position despite a reduction in income and donations.
"With the theatres closed, income from our donors and sponsors has slowed significantly, fundraising has virtually ceased, almost all of the activities we had planned have been deferred or cancelled," he said.
"The Foundation will certainly survive the pandemic ready to resume our normal activities in making our local performing arts vibrant and accessible to all.
"For an organisation that is only a few years old, the Ulumbarra Foundation is in remarkably good shape, due mainly to the generosity of our many benefactors and donors, and the successes we enjoyed in those earlier days when we started with the support of our Founding 50 Benefactors."
Australia Council executive director of advocacy and development Wendy Were said their research highlighted more Australians support public funding for the arts (63 per cent) and have clear priorities for investment including ensuring access to the arts and creative experiences for young people to support learning and development.
"One in two Australians now believe the arts build the creative skills that will be necessary for the future workforce," Dr Were said. "Almost three quarters see it as a crucial part of education.
"While we face an uncertain future, we can be sure that arts and creativity have a significant role in helping us all navigate rapid change, and in building a happy, healthy and thriving society."
Ulumbarra Foundation executive officer David Stretch said there had been some donations during the COVID-19 pandemic.
"Clearly, we're pretty challenged because we can't hold donor functions or bring people together," he said.
"While it's been so much more difficult for us to raise funds at this time, we've still be really grateful and really pleased to receive a number of donations from a number of community members over the last five months."
Mr Stretch said the Ulumbarra Foundation would be able to be able to support and assist local performing groups when restrictions lift and the coronavirus crisis is less pronounced.
"It's very clear that the world of performing arts has been decimated from COVID-19 and Bendigo is no exception," he said. "Community groups organisations are unable to perform and, in some case, unable to rehearse.
"The attitude of the board is that we're very keen to reach a time when the health crisis is over and the foundation can really begin it s work to support and assist local performing arts organisations."
Dr Were said the Australia Council report showed the social, cultural and economic value of the arts to all Australians.
"Australians have told us, in increasing numbers, just how much the arts enrich, support and expand their lives," she said. "With our current focus on mental health, social connection and consumer confidence, the sustaining nature of our connections with and through creativity - the very participation this study measures - is more important than ever."
The "Creating Our Future: Results of the National Arts Participation Survey" showed 98 per cent of Australians engage in the arts in some way and that 84 per cent of recognise the impacts of arts and creativity.
Research showed people recoginised performing arts helped child development, our sense of well-being and happiness, cope with stress and anxiety, understand other people and cultures, and brought customers to local businesses.