The application process

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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 before the closing date of the grant round to which you are intending to make an application. 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 a language other than English. This alerts the Grants Team that you have submitted these materials.

  • 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.

  • 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 enquiries@australiacouncil.gov.au. 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 operationsservicedesk@australiacouncil.gov.au

  • 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.

Eligibility

What we fund

  • Do you fund academic study?

    We are unlikely to support projects that solely focus on academic study.  More broadly, where applicants are engaged in academic study, we are also unlikely to support projects that will be assessed as part of any academic activities.

  • 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 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 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 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.

  • 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.
    • You 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.

  • 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.

Your application

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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%.

  • Can I submit the same project to more than one assessment panel?

    Yes, however only one grant can be awarded for the project.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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. 

  • 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).

  • 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.

  • 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.

Budgeting

  • 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.

  • 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 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. 

  • 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.

  • 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. 

  • 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 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).

  • 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.

  • 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.

International Residencies Program

Artists with a disability funding

Four Year Funding for Organisations

Exit off canvas
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