Artists Flood Appeal

Artist flood appeal gets $5,000 cash boost from Coffs community

A crowd funding campaign to raise funds for Northern Rivers artists affected by the devastating floods earlier this year has received a generous boost of more than $5,000 from the Coffs Harbour community and is able to start distributing the funds from today.

The goal of the Artist Flood Appeal, a partnership between Arts Northern Rivers and Common Ground Byron Bay, was to reach $10,000 in donations and distribute these funds to artists or creative businesses that have lost essential materials or equipment, wiping out their ability to generate income.

Last night the campaign made a giant leap closer to this goal, after Coffs Harbour businesses and organisations banded together to put on a gala fundraiser at the city’s Jetty Memorial Theatre. It featured live music performances by Bellingen singer-songwriter Yhan Leal, Sawtell Ukelele Group, as well as a film screening by Screenwave of The Music Of Strangers: Yo-Yo Ma & The Silk Road Ensemble.

In addition to Screenwave, organisations and businesses including Coffs Harbour City Council, Jetty Memorial Theatre, The Happy Frog, The Coffs Coast Advocate, Sawtell Ukelele Group, Yhan Leal, Any Entertainment and Fiasco Ristorante + Bar all donated their time, services and prizes. Hundreds of Coffs locals bought a ticket and also donated cash.

All proceeds raised on the night – a total of $5,408 – went directly into the appeal fund.

Peter Wood executive director for Arts Northern Rivers and one of the project partners for the appeal, said: “We are just blown away by the amount the Coffs community has managed to raise and your generosity of spirit.

“We are now in a position to start distributing funds today. I know the artists will be incredibly grateful and also know this is going to be a great help in getting them back on their feet.”

Dave Horsley, director of Screenwave, said: “We chose to help the Northern Rivers Arts Flood Fund appeal because it doesn’t have administration overheads and all funds raised go to artists that have lost their livelihoods in the recent floods.”

The funds donated on behalf of the Coffs community will be administered by a panel, including Arts Northern Rivers, Common Ground Byron Bay and Screenworks, based on submissions from affected artists.

For anyone who still wishes to donate to the fund, visit

By Eve Jaremka