“The Sydney Symphony Orchestra has handed back a million-dollar one-off grant it received from the New South Wales government, part of which had been controversially stripped from an arts funding round for small to medium-sized arts organizations,” reports Linda Morris in Thursday’s (12/11) Sydney Morning Herald (Australia). “The orchestra confirmed Sydney Town Hall would be its temporary home while the Opera House’s Concert Hall has a major refurbishment. The SSO had, in February, submitted a business funding case to the NSW government to build and install acoustic equipment for planned performances at the International Convention Centre between 2019 and 2022. After the grant application was finalized and funded, the orchestra ‘took a new opportunity to partner with the City of Sydney and relocate to the Sydney Town Hall for this period’ and refunded the grant in full in October…. More than $400,000 of the $1 million grant had been diverted by the Arts Minister Don Harwin from grants to be awarded for small to medium-sized arts organizations…. A spokesman for Mr. Harwin said the funds had been returned to the Arts and Cultural Development Program … A decision on how the money would be allocated had yet to be made.”

Posted December 21, 2018