Arts Projects – Organisations

Australia Council Response Package

The Australia Council is announcing its first Response Package to support artists, arts practitioners, arts groups and arts organisations coping with the impact of COVID-19.

With immediate effect, we have suspended many of our investment programs currently or due to open. Suspending programs will allow Council to concentrate our efforts on responding to the crisis situation faced by our artists and arts organisations. 

If you have submitted an application we will be in touch in the coming days.

February grant round

Grants submitted in the round which closed on 4 February are still eligible for funding. These grants are being assessed at present, and we'll be in touch about their outcomes within the next month. If you have any further questions, please direct them to our Artists Services team,

About the program

Our Arts Projects program funds a range of activities that deliver benefits to the arts sector and wider public, including national and international audiences. Organisations that undertake arts programs, projects or that provide services to artists are welcome to apply. Grants are available from $10,000 to $100,000. Supported activities must last no longer than 2 years from the proposed start date.

Please read through the following grant guidelines. If you need help with your application, contact a Grants Officer now.

Who can apply

Only organisations may apply to this category. Organisations that provide a service to the arts are welcome to apply. International organisations can apply for projects that benefit practicing Australian artists or their work.

Applications for funding to the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander panel must come from Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander organisations.

Who can’t apply

You can’t apply for a grant if:

  • you received a grant, or administered a grant, from the Australia Council in the past and that grant has not been satisfactorily acquitted
  • you owe money to the Australia Council
  • you have already made three applications to categories listed under Australia Council Grant Programs this calendar year (funding proposals submitted to categories under Other Grants and Opportunities are not counted as one of your three applications)
  • you are a Major Performing Arts organisation

Four Year Funding for Organisations applicants and recipients

  • If you are an organisation applying for Four Year Funding in 2019, please be aware that this application will count as one of your applications to the Australia Council grants program for the 2019 calendar year.
  • If you are an organisation currently receiving Four Year Funding, please be aware that you can make only one application to the Australia Council grants program per calendar year.

We fund a range of activities, for example:

  • the creation of new work
  • arts practice based research
  • creative development
  • professional skills development
  • experimentation
  • collaborations
  • touring
  • festivals
  • productions
  • exhibitions
  • performances
  • publishing
  • recording
  • services to develop the arts sector
  • promotion and marketing
  • market development activity.

What can’t be applied for

You can’t apply for the following activity:

  • projects or activities that do not involve or benefit practicing artists or arts workers
  • projects or activities that do not have a clearly defined arts component
  • projects that have already taken place.

Peer assessment

As part of the application process, you will be able to choose which peer panel you want to assess your application.  The peer panels available are:

  • Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Arts
  • Community Arts and Cultural Development
  • Dance
  • Emerging and Experimental Arts
  • Literature
  • Multi-art form
  • Music
  • Theatre
  • Visual Arts

If you are unsure which peer panel to choose to assess your application, please contact a Grants Officer now.

Assessment criteria

You must address three assessment criteria in this category. For some criteria, you will be asked to choose between two or more options.

Under each criterion are bullet points indicating what peers may consider when assessing your application. You do not need to respond to every bullet point listed.

First criterion

You must choose one of the following two options:

Artistic merit

Peers will assess the artistic merit of the work or works at the centre of your proposal.

They may consider:

  • vision, ideas and artistic rationale
  • level of innovation, ambition, experimentation or risk-taking
  • rigour and clear articulation of creative process
  • significance of the work within area of practice
  • contribution to diverse cultural expression
  • timeliness and relevance of work
  • quality of previous work
  • responses to previous work from peers or the public.


Quality of services to the arts

Peers will assess the quality of services at the centre of your proposal.

They may consider:

  • impact, including diversity of participants and breadth and quality of engagement
  • capacity-building potential, including contribution to sustainable arts practice
  • skills and professional development opportunities for artists and arts professionals
  • potential to improve advocacy and access
  • level of community engagement, partnerships and collaborations
  • responsiveness to identified need or demand
  • innovative improvement of existing frameworks.

Second criterion

You must address:


Peers will assess the viability of your proposal.

They may consider:

  • capacity to deliver the project or program
  • relevance and timeliness of proposed activity
  • skills and ability of artists/arts professionals involved, and relevance to activity
  • realistic planning, effective use of resources, and meaningful evaluation
  • appropriate payments to participating artists
  • governance arrangements
  • role of partners, including confirmation of involvement
  • diversity and scale of income and co-funding, including earned income, grants, sponsorship and in-kind contributions
  • adherence to relevant cultural protocols
  • evidence of considered consultation and engagement with participants, audiences and communities.

Third criterion

The third criterion tells us how your proposal may meet one of the aims in our Strategic Plan to support the arts in Australia. When responding to this criterion, you must choose one of four options that best reflects the primary outcome of your proposal:


Peers will assess your contribution to the creation of new work.

They may consider how the proposed activity:

  • develops or extends your area of creative practice
  • contributes to diverse artistic practice
  • builds or develops national or international collaborations
  • creates opportunities in the relevant arts practice area
  • creates opportunities for the artists involved
  • where relevant, engages young people in the creation of work.



Peers will assess your contribution to audience engagement.

They may consider how the proposed activity:

  • demonstrates a strong audience engagement strategy
  • increases or diversifies audiences
  • satisfies existing audience demand
  • delivers long term benefits for audiences
  • where relevant, increases the experience by Australians of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander arts and culture.


Access and Participation

Peers will assess how your proposal improves access to, and participation in, the arts.

They may consider how the proposed activity:

  • increases participation in arts and culture, particularly among diverse cultural groups and regional/remote communities
  • increases the experience by Australians of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander arts and culture
  • engages with and delivers benefits for participants
  • where relevant, provides valuable artistic experiences for children and young people.



Peers will assess the contribution of your proposal to the international profile of Australian arts.

They may consider how the proposed activity:

  • engages international audiences with Australian work
  • develops international partnerships and collaborations
  • develops international markets for Australian work
  • meets existing international demand for Australian work.

Application form

Apply for Arts Projects for Organisations online here. 

The types of questions we ask in the application form include:

  • a title for your project
  • a summary of your project
  • a brief description of the organisation applying
  • an outline of your project and what you want to do
  • a timetable or itinerary for your project
  • a description of the outcome your project delivers
  • a projected budget which details the expenses, income and in-kind support of the project
  • supporting material as relevant to your project, including an artistic example, bios of additional artists, and letters of support from participants or communities.

Support material

You may submit support material with your application. The peer assessors may review this support material to help them gain a better sense of your project. If you need advice on what type of support material to submit, please contact the grants team.

We do not accept application-related support material submitted via post. Application-related material received by post will not be assessed and will be returned to the sender. If you think you will have difficulty submitting your support material online, please contact the grants team.

There are three types of support material you may submit:

1. Artistic support material

This should include relevant, recent examples of your artistic work.

2.  Artist information

You can include a brief bio or curriculum vitae (CV) for yourself and any additional artists or key collaborators involved in the project.

Bio and CV information for all artists and key collaborators, including yourself, should be presented as a single document no longer than two A4 pages in total.

3.  Letters of support

Individuals, groups or organisations can write letters in support of your project. A support letter should explain to the assessment panel how the project or activity will benefit the applicant or the broader community (and if applicable, how the project or activity will benefit community participants).

You can include up to five letters of support, with each letter not exceeding one A4 page.

What type of support material do we accept

Our preferred method of receiving support material is via URLs (web links).

You can submit up to three URLs, which may include video, audio, images, and written material.

Please note that these URLs can include a total of:

  • 10 minutes of video and/or audio recording
  • 10 images
  • 10 pages of written material (for example, excerpts of literary writing).

To find out more about support material, including how to submit late confirmations after the closing date, and advice on how to get examples of your work online click here.

If you cannot supply support material via URLs, you may upload support material with your application in the following formats:

  • Video (MP4, QuickTime, and Windows Media)
  • Audio (MP3 and Windows Media)
  • Images (JPEG and PowerPoint)
  • Written material (Word and PDF)

A print friendly MS Word file can be accessed here.


If you need help with your application, contact a Grants Officer now.

Exit off canvas