Perhaps you have a question about our grants program? We have anticipated a few of the questions you may have below.
- The application process
- What we fund
- Your application
- International Residencies Program
- Artists with a disability funding
- Four Year Funding for Organisations
The application process
How many times can I apply?
You can apply up to three times per calendar year. You can submit an application for the same project more than once.
When will I receive payment of the grant if my application is successful?
You will receive your grant payment within two weeks of accepting your funding agreement. Please note we pay our grants in the financial year which they are approved. We will not adjust payment timelines to the particular circumstances of individuals.
When is the deadline?
The deadline for applications is midnight (Sydney time) on the closing date. We strongly recommend submitting before this. Grant advice and technical support is only provided during business hours and up until 5:00pm on the closing date. Late applications will not be accepted.
My application form will be in English, but do you accept support materials in languages other than English (LOTE)?
Yes, if you have support materials such as letters from project partners, collaborators or participants that are in languages other than English (including Auslan), we can arrange translation or captioning.
Please contact the Grants Team at least four weeks before the closing date of the grant round to which you are intending to make an application. If you do not contact us at least four weeks before the closing date, we may not have sufficient time to meet your translation needs.
Our online application form also has a checkbox at the top which you can tick if you have attached materials in a language other than English. This alerts the Grants Team that you have submitted these materials.
Can I send an application by post?
We do not accept applications submitted via post. Any material received by post will not be assessed and will be returned to the sender. If you think you will have difficulty submitting your application online, please contact a Grants Officer.
Can my application be updated once it has been submitted?
We do not amend, correct, update or change any part of your application once it has been submitted. However, if you receive additional confirmations for activities or artists after the closing date you may alert us to these, and we can bring them to the attention of peer assessors at the assessment meeting. These updates could include confirmation that a proposed activity will take place, a partnership has been secured, or funding from another source has been received.
You can update us about such confirmations by emailing us at firstname.lastname@example.org. Briefly describe the nature of the confirmation and cite your application reference number. You do not need to send us copies of confirmation emails from third parties – if we need to see evidence of the confirmation we will request it.
If you wish to update your application once it has been submitted, but the closing date has not yet passed, you can submit a new, updated application and request to withdraw the original one by emailing email@example.com
How do I get an application form?
Grant applications can be found and are submitted through our online system. If you are using the system for the first time you will need to register your details before filling out a grant application form.
When will I be notified about the outcome of my application?
Applicants will be notified of the outcome of their application approximately 12 weeks after the closing date. Please see the guidelines page for the grant category you are interested in for more details.
What is the difference between a ‘group’ and an ‘organisation’?
We define a ‘group’ as two or more individuals who do not form a legally constituted organisation. This can include co-collaborators and collectives. Groups are not eligible to apply to programs open only to organisations.
An ‘organisation’ is a legally constituted organisation that is registered or created by law. For example, incorporated associations, companies limited by guarantee or government statutory authorities are all defined as organisations. Organisations that are not legally constituted are not eligible to apply for funding in grant categories that are open to organisations only. Organisations may be required to provide a certificate of incorporation or evidence of their current legal status. Funding programs for organisations are not intended for sole traders or partnerships.
If I apply to one of the Government programs delivered by the Australia Council, will this count as one of my applications to the Australia Council per year?
No. Although applicants may submit a maximum of three (3) applications to the Australia Council grants program per calendar year, any additional applications to the Government programs managed by the Australia Council do not count.
Can groups made up of Australian and international artists eligible to apply?
Yes. However, the contact person for group applications must be an Australian citizen or permanent resident.
Can international organisations apply?
Yes, provided that the project that they are proposing directly benefits Australian artists or the Australian arts sector.
What is your definition of a practising artist?
We provide funding to practising artists or artsworkers. While you may not regularly earn income from your practice, you must be identified and recognised by your peers as a practising artist or artsworker. This may include cultural practitioners, editors, producers, curators and arts managers.
I have a grant that has not been satisfactorily acquitted or is overdue. Am I eligible to apply?
No. If you have an overdue grant acquittal you will not be eligible to apply for any further grants.
Can I apply to the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Island Arts Assessment Panel?
The following eligibility requirements apply to applicants to the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Island Arts Assessment Panel:
- Individuals – must be Aboriginal or Torres
- Groups – the members of the group must be
Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander
- Organisations – the majority of the governing
body of the organisation must be Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander.
- Individuals – must be Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander
My organisation is a recipient of Catalyst funding. Are we eligible to apply for Arts Projects grants?
Yes. However, if your Catalyst project funding concludes after September 2018 it will be counted as one of your applications to the Australia Council for 2018.
I am a foreign national living or working in Australia. Am I eligible to apply?
No. Only Australian citizens and Australian permanent residents may apply to the Australia Council for funding. Foreign nationals who are permitted to live and work in Australia by holding visas such as a Special Category visa or a Bridging visa are not eligible to apply.
What we fund
Do you fund creative research and development?
Yes. Creative research and development is a key component of the creative process and can be funded through our Arts Projects grants. You can apply for funding for activity that will benefit your career as an artist or arts worker through Development Grants for Individuals and Groups.
Do you fund artists working in languages other than English (LOTE)?
Yes. We accept applications in languages other than English, including Auslan.
If any part of your application requires translation into English, please contact the Grants Enquiry Team at least four weeks before the closing date of the round to which you intend to apply. We will use our best and all reasonable endeavours to assist in having some or all of the material translated. However we reserve the right to refuse an application in a language other than English if we believe there is no genuine reason to accept such an application, or if the time-frame for translation precludes us from making the materials available for assessment in the round to which it was submitted.
If you wish to request an application form in a language other than English, please contact the Grants Enquiry Team at least 12 weeks before the closing date of the round to which you intend to apply.
We reserve the right to refuse an application form translation request if we believe there is no genuine reason for the request. We also reserve the right to refuse an application form translation if the time-frame for translation prevents us from providing a translated form in time for assessment in the round to which it was submitted.
Where you have supplied creative content in a language other than English, we may engage an industry expert to provide the peers with an evaluation of the artistic merit of that creative content.
You can speak with staff at the Australia Council in your first language. Please telephone the Translating and Interpreting Service on 131 450 (local call anywhere in Australia) and ask to be connected with the Australia Council.
Do you fund study?
Applications that focus solely on academic studies, or are for activities that are part of assessable coursework are unlikely to be successful with our assessment panels. Assessment panels are also unlikely to support applications requesting the costs of academic fees or courses.
If you wish to apply for study costs, explain to the panel how your project extends, or supplements, the course’s standard curriculum requirements. Also, bear in mind that your project will be assessed on artistic merit of the work.
If you are applying for a Career Development Grant for funding to complete a training program, course, workshop or diploma, explain how doing so will impact positively on your career or practice.
Do you fund feature film, television or documentary?
While we can support screen-based art, we do not generally support activities associated with feature film, television or documentary. See Screen Australia, the Federal Government’s primary agency for production of Australian screen activity. http://www.screenaustralia.gov.au/
Do you offer quick response grants?
No, we do not offer quick response grants.
Outside of our regular grants program, we do offer a number of other grants and opportunities.
Do you fund early career artists?
Yes. Early career artists are eligible to apply for funding through Development Grants for Individuals and Groups and through Arts Projects for Individuals and Groups.
Can we apply for a program of projects or activities under ‘Arts Projects – Organisations’?
Yes. Organisations can propose a program of projects and/or activities. This could be an organisation’s full artistic program for a given calendar year or more, for example.
We encourage applicants to be mindful of the following considerations:
- The activities should each contribute toward a
clear, unifying overall objective – for
example, the organisation's artistic
vision. It is important to demonstrate
the rationale for the inclusion of these activities and how the overall program
will align with the organisation's vision.
- In proposing a program consisting of multiple
projects or activities, it is possible that some individual projects may be
less compelling than others. If you are submitting an application proposing
multiple activities or projects, we encourage you to ensure that a similar
level of consideration, planning, and artistic merit is common to each to avoid
one component of your program potentially letting down the others.
may wish to consider using one of the 3 URLs you can provide as support
material to link to a document that provides more detail about each individual
project or activity in your program.
- The activities should each contribute toward a clear, unifying overall objective – for example, the organisation's artistic vision. It is important to demonstrate the rationale for the inclusion of these activities and how the overall program will align with the organisation's vision.
How competitive are your grant rounds?
As a national arts funding body, all Australia Council grant rounds are competitive. Success rates are usually between 15% and 20%.
Does my project have to start by a specific date?
Yes. Projects must have a start date that falls after we notify you of the outcome of your application, and no later than one year from that date. We will notify you of the outcome of your application approximately 12 weeks after the closing date.
Should I apply to the Multi-art form assessment panel?
You can have your application assessed by the multi-art form peer panel if your project involves multiple separate art form-specific activities. This could include, for example: a festival that incorporates music, literature and theatre, or a project that has no one specific arts practice focus. However, if your project does involve more than one area of arts practice, you still have the option to choose one of the single art form panels, which you think will best relate to your work, to assess your application.
Our multi-art form assessment panels are made up of artists and arts workers from a range of art form areas. Peers may include those from specific art form areas (e.g. music or visual arts), peers who work across a number of art forms, and/or peers who work in interdisciplinary practice.
Should I apply to the Community Arts and Cultural Development assessment panel?
Community Arts and Cultural Development practice is a community-based arts practice and can engage any art form. There are many variations of how community arts and cultural development works are made, developed and shared, and as such, there is no one model. What is at the core of this practice, however, is the collaboration between professional artists and communities to create art. The activity must be undertaken by with and for the communities involved. The artists and arts working facilitating the project should be highly skilled in these processes, and the activities should reflect the energy and qualities of the community.
For more information, we suggest you refer to the Community Arts and Cultural Development Practice page of our website.
Do I need to have confirmed venues or partners in order to apply?
No. However, applications involving venues and partners are likely to be more competitive if their involvement is confirmed.
Should I apply to the Emerging and Experimental Arts assessment panel?
In this context, the term ‘emerging’, refers to emerging art forms, not artists who are at the emerging stage of their careers.
Emerging and experimental arts practice is characterised by the exploration of challenging new concepts in the creation and experience of arts and culture. It plays with or invents new forms, methodologies, technologies or explores non-material ideas. These sometimes include art/science research collaborations, bio art, live art, socially engaged practices and new technologies. For more information about how we define Emerging and Experimental Arts read the EEA - Frequently Asked Questions.
If you’re unsure about which art form panel best fits with your project, we recommend you contact the Grants Enquiry Team to discuss further.
Can I submit the same project to more than one assessment panel?
Yes, however only one grant can be awarded for the project.
How are applications to the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Arts assessment panel assessed?
The Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Arts assessment panel consists entirely of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander industry professionals across art forms and across states and territories.
Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander applicants are also welcome to apply to other art form assessment panels (for example visual arts, music and literature).
How can I get assistance with my application?
Australia Council staff are available to assist you in understanding the purpose of the grant, application requirements, and submitting your application. Staff can assist over email, phone and using Skype. We cannot review application drafts.
Additional support can be discussed where needed. Where the additional support required is beyond the scope of what our staff can provide, we may recommend speaking to an appropriate organisation for further assistance.
I am an artist working with a manager or producer. Should I or my manager be the applicant for my application?
The best applications are those where the voice of the artist comes through. Where possible you, ‘the artist’, should write your application. Your manager may administer the grant on your behalf to undertake the financial and reporting requirements.
Can I apply more than once in the same grant round?
Yes. However, we generally advise against this because by submitting two applications in the same grant category you are competing against yourself.
Does my application for a group need an administrator?
If you are applying as an unincorporated entity, unincorporated association or partnership you do not need to have an administrator for your grant. However, you must be able to provide an ABN and bank account that are in the group’s name. If you cannot do this you must nominate an administrator. For more information about this, please contact us.
Do I need an ABN to apply for a grant?
All individual or organisation grant applicants based in Australia must have an active Australian Business Number (ABN). Individual applicants without an ABN may have their grant administered by an individual or organisation with an ABN. Organisations operating outside of Australia do not need an ABN to apply. Individuals based outside of Australia may not need an ABN to apply, depending on their circumstances (please check with your accountant or tax advisor).
Furthermore, the name of the applicant must match the name of the ABN and the name of the bank account into which we pay the funds. There are no exceptions to this rule. If you cannot provide an ABN and bank account that are in the same name as the applicant, you will need to nominate an administrator for your grant.
For more information about this, please contact us
Will receiving a grant affect my Centrelink payment?
Grants can be considered income by Centrelink. The amount is generally assessed as a lump sum and could affect your Centrelink payment for the financial year. Artists who are running a business (even on a small scale) may have their grant treated differently. It is possible to have your grant paid to an administering body if you wish.
Applicants should contact Centrelink on 13 28 50 for advice. Additionally, Centrelink’s Financial Information Service (FIS) is an education and information service available to everyone in the community and may be of benefit to applicants who also receive assistance through the social security system. To contact FIS phone 13 23 00.
Can I include artist fees in my budget?
Yes. The Australia Council expects that artists professionally employed or engaged on Australia Council-funded activities will be remunerated for their work in line with industry standards. Payment of artist fees should be reflected in your application budget.
For more information, see our Payment of Artists page.
Can I include organisational administration costs?
Our grants program is primarily designed to support projects that have a defined start and end date, rather than ongoing organisational administration costs. Project budgets that include a high proportion of administration costs may be less competitive. However, if you do need funding to cover administration costs directly related to the delivery of your project, you can include them in your grant request.
If I receive a grant, will my tax be affected
Grants paid by the Australia Council may be considered part of your income in a financial year and may be subject to tax. You must determine your own taxation liabilities. We suggest you consult your financial adviser or contact the Australian Taxation Office on 13 28 66.
Will the higher cost of some activities in regional locations adversely affect my application?
No. The Australia Council encourages applicants whose projects will take place in regional and remote locations to budget accurately and realistically, as it is recognised that costs may differ between regions and major cities.
Should I include GST in my budget?
If you are GST-registered when you receive an Australia Council grant, the Australia Council will pay the grant amount plus GST. The budget provided in your application should be exclusive of GST.
Can I include disability access costs in my budget?
Yes. The Australia Council recognises that funding may be required for access costs incurred by applicants with disability, or for costs associated with working with artists with disability - who may have particular access needs (e.g. use of an interpreter, translation services, specific technical equipment, support worker/carer assistance). Access costs are viewed as legitimate expenses and may be included in an applicant’s budget. The Australia Council encourages applicants to ensure that their work is accessible to everyone. Therefore, budgets may also include costs associated with making activities accessible to a wide range of people (e.g. performances using Auslan, captioning, audio description, temporary building adjustments, materials in other formats such as Braille or CD).
How do I enter my grant request?
The application form calculates your grant request as the difference between your total cash income, and your total cash costs. The gap between these two numbers is the grant request. In-kind contributions are not included in this calculation.
Total cash costs – total cash income = grant request
For example –
$50,000 cash costs - $30,000 cash income = $20,000 Australia Council grant request.
Can I include childcare costs in my budget?
Yes. The Australia Council recognises that childcare needs may impede access to employment in the arts. Accordingly, childcare is a legitimate expense to include in an applicant’s budget.
How important is it to have co-funding for your project?
We encourage our applicants to seek funding from other sources to cover the complete costs of their projects. While it does depend on the size of your grant request to us, we would expect that applicants with large grant requests would also secure funding from elsewhere to cover all costs associated with a large scale project.
Can I include volunteer costs in my budget?
Yes. Out-of-pocket expenses such as telephone calls or petrol for travel, are recognised as legitimate expenses and may be included in an applicant’s budget.
International Residencies Program
Are the residency dates flexible?
Unless stated otherwise in the program description, all residencies are offered for fixed dates and periods of time.
If successful, am I able to extend my stay abroad?
Yes, but this will be at your own cost and the Australia Council will not be able to provide additional funds towards the extension or an extension on travel insurance.
Do I have to provide a budget?
No. You are not required to provide a budget with your application.
Do I have to provide a timetable of activities in my application?
There is no requirement for you to provide a timetable of your activities.
Do I need travel insurance?
Yes. If successful, you are required to take out travel insurance for the duration of your residency. It is recommended you pay for this from your grant.
If I am successful, am I able to take my partner, child or both?
The capacity to accommodate children and partners varies for different residencies. Please check the program descriptions for specific requirements. At present, residencies that could potentially accommodate a family (dependant on the number of individuals) include HIAP in Helsinki, ACME in London, and BR Whiting in Rome. Please note that the programs that are limited to the participating artist only, have various limitations e.g. communal living and/or working space or modest living quarters.
Is the grant I receive as part of my residency considered taxable income?
Yes, the grant to an individual that accompanies a residency is considered income and taxable. Please visit the Australian Taxation Office website for more information.
Will the same residencies be offered every year?
The Australia Council will offer residencies annually, and the round will fall in the second half of the calendar year. The International Residencies Program is dynamic and responsive and the programs on offer may vary from year to year. Please check our website prior to the annual closing date for information on which residencies will be offered.
Can I still apply to Career Development Grants for Individuals for a self-organised residency?
Yes. If you are looking for some tips on organising your residency or programs in the region you’re interested in, check out the resources on our International Residencies Program web page.
How many residencies can I apply for per round?
There is no limit to the number of expressions of interest you can submit to the International Residencies Program. However, you will need to consider how the assessors will perceive your commitment to a particular residency program and/or market if you have applied for multiple residencies. Each residency requires you to submit a separate expression of interest form. Please note, this is an Expression of Interest and not a grant application. It does not count as an application to the Australia Council Grants Program.
I have already received an Australia Council Residency, am I eligible to apply for another residency?
Yes, as long as you have satisfactorily acquitted the previous residency grant.
If I have to take time off from my job to do a residency, what sort of compensation will I receive?
The grant is not intended to cover lost income or rent at home and applicants will need to consider their capacity to undertake the residency prior to applying.
What information, resources and contacts will the Australia Council provide if I am successful?
The Australia Council partners with established and reputable residency providers and each program is unique. Successful applicants will be provided with detailed information about each residency and introductions to the residency providers who will assist artists with making local connections. Australia Council staff are able to provide further advice and contacts, as requested. Australia Council’s International Development Managers, across North Asia, Europe, and North America, are also available as an additional resource. Artists are also expected to have their own resources, contacts and project plans for the residency.
What can I use the grant for?
The grant is a contribution from the Australia Council toward your travel (including airfares and travel insurance) and living costs during the residency period. Applicants are expected to research the cost of living in the residency location they are travelling to. You may need to supplement the grant with your own funds depending on your projected costs for the residency period.
Can the Australia Council provide assistance with applying for international visas?
No. The Australia Council cannot provide any advice on visa or immigration matters. You must contact the relevant embassy and DFAT to get current information. We suggest you allow plenty of time to apply for all international visas.
ARTISTS WITH DISABILITY MENTORSHIP FUNDING 2019-21: This program will be available from 2019. More information will be available in December 2018.
More information about Artists with Disability Mentorship Funding 2019-21
On 24 September Australia Council announced a commitment to a 3 year initiative from 2019-21 for structured mentorships to support artists with disability to undertake arts projects or career development activities with mentorship as a central element. More information will be available soon.
Please contact the grants team if you wish to discuss making an application to other grant categories.
What other opportunities are available for artists with disability
All Australia Council grants programs are open, accessible and inclusive.
· Applicants are encouraged to apply through the core grants programs, and note that all of our programs are accessible and inclusive to artists with disability.
The Australia Council accepts applications for all our programs in accessible format. We also continue to make guidelines an application forms available in accessible formats upon request. Formats include word documents, audio disk, Braille and large print.
Further information about the Australia Council’s accessibility provisions can be found here: http://www.australiacouncil.gov.au/about/accessibility-statement/
· Applications to our grants programs are assessed by panels of peers formed from practising artists, arts workers and industry experts. We are committed to forming diverse and balanced panels and include peers with disability and expertise in arts and disability practice. Applicants interested in finding out about how peers assess applications can be directed here: http://www.australiacouncil.gov.au/funding/peer-assessors/
Four Year Funding for Organisations
Will my previous record with the Australia Council be taken into account during the assessment of my application?
Yes. Any information previously submitted by your organisation may be considered during the assessment of your application.
When will applications next be open for Four Year Funding?
Applications for this program are currently closed and will open again in 2019
Who will be the peers on the panel assessing my application?
We draw our peer panels from our pool of registered peers. Peers are chosen by virtue of their knowledge and experience and are equipped to make a fair and informed assessment of artistic work and grant applications. Your application will be assessed by one of our nine arts practice specific assessment panels.
If I am a recipient of Four Year Funding, can I still apply to other Australia Council grant programs?
Yes, however you may submit only one Arts Project for Organisations application per calendar year, regardless of the outcome. However Four Year Funded Organisations may apply for projects listed under Other Grants and Opportunities on our website.
Four Year Funded Organisations in receipt of Catalyst funding that concludes after September 2018, will not be eligible to apply for an Arts Project grant in 2018.
Will you consult with any other organisations when assessing applications?
The Australia Council makes decisions independently; however we do take into consideration any co-funding arrangements with State and other funding agencies and consult with them where necessary.
Can I apply for international activity as a Four Year Funded Organisation?
You can include costs associated with international activity in your application for Four-Year Funding. We encourage you to project and factor these costs into your four-year funding period where necessary. Please speak to a Grants Officer for further information.
Can I apply for Four-Year Funding if I have never applied to the Australia Council before?
Yes, provided you meet the eligibility requirements for the Four-year funding program. As competition levels will be high, and competitive organisations will need to be able to articulate a five-year vision for their organisation, we strongly recommend that you contact a Grants Officer to discuss your application first.
How will support be provided to Service Organisations?
Organisations with national impact, that deliver services to one or more areas of the arts, can apply. You will be assessed in competition with other like organisations against relevant criteria.