FAQs – Core Grants Programs

  • I have never applied to the Australia Council before, can I apply now?

    Yes, provided you meet the eligibility requirements of the Australia Council.  We encourage first time applicants to have a look at the Grants program information on the website.  If you have any further questions about our programs, please contact the Grants Enquiry Team.  enquiries@australiacouncil.gov.au

  • Is art form expertise still central to the peer assessment process?

    Yes. Applications are assessed by peers with specific areas of arts practice expertise. Peers also bring other skills relevant to assessing applications to our grant programs, including expertise in market development, audience and international engagement.

  • Are applications from Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander applicants still assessed by a panel made up of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders?

    Yes, they can be. Applications from Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people or organisations can be assessed by our Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Panel, consisting entirely of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peers. Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander applicants may instead choose for their applications to be assessed by any of our other peer panels (e.g. music, theatre etc). 

  • Do I still need to apply to a number of different artform panels if I want to apply for funding towards a multi-art form project?

    No.  As part of the application process, you can nominate a panel of multi-art form peers to assess your application.

  • What do you mean by a Multi-art Form Peer Panel?

    Our multi-art form peer 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. 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.  

  • I am an emerging artist, does that mean I should have my application assessed by the Emerging and Experimental Arts Panel?

    Emerging artists can apply to all art form panels. General characteristics of ‘emerging and experimental arts practice’ include 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 Emerging and Experimental Arts we suggest you read through 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.

  • 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. Applications to Government programs run by the Australia Council will not count as an application to Australia Council Grant programs.  In 2016 applicants will be able to submit up to three (3) applications to the Australia Council’s core grants program, as well as applications to the Government programs.

  • How long will it take to for me to be notified of the decision on my application?

    We aim to notify you of the outcome of your application no later than 12 weeks after the relevant closing date.  Please see the program page for the grant category you are interested in for more details.

  • 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.  

  • What is your definition of a legally constituted organisation?

    The Australia Council requires that organisations be registered under law (for example, incorporated associations, companies limited by guarantee) or created by law (for example, government statutory authorities). Organisations that are not legally constituted are not eligible to apply for funding to grant categories 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. 

  • What is your definition of a group?

    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.

  • Are 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. 

  • Do you fund artist fees?

    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 further information on artist fees and industry pay scales see Payment of Artists.

  • Do you fund organisational administration costs?

    Funding is available to support projects with a clear start and end date. If you need funding towards your administration costs to be able to deliver your project, you can include them in your grant request. However, you need to be aware that competition for funds is very high and peers will look at the diversity and scale of any co-funding when assessing the viability of your project. Projects that include a high percentage of administration costs may be less competitive.

  • 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/

  • 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. 

  • Will receiving a grant affect my taxable income?

    Yes, 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. If you are GST-registered when you receive an Australia Council grant, the Australia Council will pay the grant amount plus GST (where required). The budget given in your application should be exclusive of GST. If you are not GST registered, the budget should include GST as this is part of the cost of the project.

  • When will I receive payment of the grant if my application is successful?

    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. You must accept the conditions of your grant and invoice us for payment within one month of notification of the outcome of your grant. If we do not receive an invoice within this time-frame we may withdraw our offer of the grant.

  • Will receiving a grant affect my social security benefits?

    Grants fund necessary business expenses incurred in establishing and running an arts practice, creating a new work or delivering a project. Although they are not used for day to day living, grants are considered income for social security purposes. The amount is generally assessed as a lump sum and will affect your social security payment for the financial year. However, artists who are running a business (even on a small scale) may have their grant treated differently. 

    Artists should contact Centrelink on 13 28 50 for more information. Additionally, Centrelink’s Financial Information Service (FIS) is an education and information service available to everyone in the community and may be of great benefit to artists who also receive assistance through the social security system. To contact FIS phone 13 23 00.

  • Do you support artists working in languages other than English (LOTE)?

    Yes, provided you meet the general eligibility requirements, you can make your application in any language, for projects and activities in any language (including Auslan).

    If any aspect of your application requires translation, please contact the Grants Enquiry Team before the closing date of the round to which you are intending to make a grant submission. Please be aware that, if you do not contact us before the closing date, we may not have sufficient time to meet your translation needs.

    We can arrange the translation of the content of your application form, and, where appropriate, support material. We can also arrange the translation of the guidelines and application forms. In some cases we will engage an industry expert to provide the peers with an evaluation of creative content submitted in a language other than English.

  • 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 Enquiry Team before the closing date of the round to which you are intending to make a grant submission. Please be aware that, if you do not contact us 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 LOTE. This alerts the Grants Team that you have submitted these materials.

  • 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.

  • What are access costs?

    Access costs are viewed as legitimate expenses and may be included in an applicant’s budget. 
    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). 
    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).

FAQS – Career Development Grants for Individuals

FAQs – Four Year Funding for Organisations

FAQs - Arts and Disability Funding

  • 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, Skype, and where possible, in person. Unfortunately 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 engaging an auspicing body or speaking to an appropriate arts and disability body, member organisation or other sector based agency for further assistance.

  • Can I submit my application in an accessible format?

    We encourage applicants to submit their applications using our Online System, however you are welcome to submit your application in any way that is accessible to you (for example other formats can include Auslan, audio, video, printed, dictated, electronic and handwritten formats).

  • Who assesses my application?

    If you select the ‘Arts and Disability’ panel your application will be assessed by a panel of industry professionals across art forms and across states and territories; the majority of whom will identify as an artist with disability.

  • How competitive will it be?

    As a national arts funding body, all Australia Council funding is competitive. 25 of 217 applications from the 2014 pilot program were successful, or 12% of applications received.  Our March 2015 round had a 17% success rate with 15 grants approved out a total of 89 applications submitted.

  • What if I am an artist with disability, but don’t want to publicly identify as such?

    The Australia Council has a statutory requirement to publish the names of recipients of all of our grants. Therefore the names of successful applicants will appear in a list of projects assessed and approved by the Arts and Disability Panel. If your application is successful, please contact us and we can ensure that in all other promotional material about this funding we can take account of your wish not to be identified.

  • Who can I go to if I need more assistance with my application?

    Australia Council staff can discuss your project with you and answer any specific questions you have in relation to the assessment criteria and how to complete and submit your application. If you need assistance writing your application, you may wish to contact one of the arts and disability peak bodies, who may be able to assist you.  http://australiacouncil.gov.au/about/resources/

  • Will I need to specify what my disability is in the application form?

    No. You will be asked whether or not you identify as a person or group with disability, but will not need to outline what your disability is or provide a medical certificate/letter of support.

  • When completing the application form, what panel do I select?

    If you wish to be considered for the arts and disability specific funding, please select ‘arts and disability funding panel’ on the application form.

  • I am in a group, which is run through an organisation. Can we apply as a group to the arts and disability panel?

    This can be difficult, as we do not wish to indirectly receive applications from organisations, as this funding is only open to Individuals and Groups; and organisations have a wider range of funding options available to them. Eligible groups should have a track record of working together and have plans to work together into the future.

  • I am using someone to assist me to write my application and I am unable to physically sign or submit this online myself. How do I complete the application form?

    If a person is unable to complete the application form themselves, a support worker or other person assisting with the application can sign on behalf of the applicant. If this is the case, we reserve the right to go back to the applicant at any time for confirmation.

FAQs - International Residencies Program

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