Arts Projects – Organisations

Key dates

The next round closing dates are:

  • Tuesday 7 September 2021 at 3pm AEST, for projects beginning after 1 December 2021
  • Tuesday 1 March 2022 at 3pm AEDT, for projects beginning after 1 June 2022.

The 3pm closing time falls within business hours. This allows Artists Services staff to troubleshoot any issues and support applicants as the deadline approaches. 

Please note: To apply you must be registered in our application management system a minimum of two business days prior to the closing date. 

Applicants will be notified of the outcome of their application approximately 12 weeks after the closing date.

Watch the recording of an information session held on 10 February 2021.

Apply now 

About the program

This 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.

Organisations can propose a single project, a suite of projects or annual programs of activity.

Grants are available from $20,000 to $100,000. Supported activities must last no longer than two years from the proposed start date.

Please note: Your project must take into account the latest advice regarding COVID-19.

Please read through the following grant guidelines.

If you need advice about applying, contact an Artists Services Officer now.

Who can apply

You can only submit one application to each closing date for Arts Projects - Organisations.

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, their work or Australian audiences.

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 have already submitted an application to this closing date for Arts Projects - Organisations
  • you have an overdue grant report
  • you owe money to the Australia Council
  • you are an individual or group
  • you receive funding through the National Performing Arts Partnership Framework
  • you will receive multi-year investment via the Four Year Funding program from 2021 to 2024.

What can be applied for

We fund a range of activities, for example:

  • professional skills development, including mentoring and residencies
  • the creation of new work
  • practice based research
  • creative development
  • experimentation
  • collaborations
  • touring
  • festivals
  • productions
  • exhibitions
  • performances
  • publishing
  • recording
  • activities to develop the arts sector
  • promotion and marketing
  • market development activity
  • activities that creatively engage communities.

What can’t be applied for

You can’t apply for:

  • projects or activities that do not involve or benefit Australian practicing artists or arts professionals
  • projects or activities that do not have a clearly defined arts component
  • projects that have already taken place
  • activities engaging with First Nations content, artists and communities that do not adhere to the Australia Council First Nations Cultural & Intellectual Property Protocols.


Your application must comply with the following Protocols. We may contact you to request further information during the assessment process, or if successful, as a condition of your funding.

  • Protocols for using First Nations Cultural and Intellectual Property in the Arts

    All applications involving First Nations artists, communities or subject matter must adhere to these Protocols, provide evidence of this in their application and support material. More information on the First Nations Protocols is available here.

  • Commonwealth Child Safe Framework

    All successful applicants are required to comply with all Australian law relating to employing or engaging people who work or volunteer with children, including working with children checks and mandatory reporting. Successful organisations who provide services directly to children, or whose funded activities involve contact with children, will additionally be required to implement the National Principles for Child Safe Organisations.

Assessment panels

You must choose which peer assessment panel you wish to apply to.  The panels 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 assessment panel to choose, contact Artists Services.

More information on peer assessment is available here.

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:

Quality of artistic or cultural activities

Peers will assess the quality of the artistic and cultural activities at the centre of your proposal. They may consider:

  • vision, ideas and artistic rational
  • benefit and impact on careers, artistic or cultural practice
  • level of innovation, ambition, experimentation or risk-taking
  • rigour and clear articulation of creative, engagement or development processes
  • significance of the work within area of practice or communities
  • contribution to diverse cultural expression
  • timeliness and relevance of work
  • quality of previous work
  • responses to previous work from artistic or cultural peers, or the public.


Quality of services for the arts

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

They may consider:

  • quality of the services provided
  • impact of services for artists, arts professionals, participants or audiences
  • diversity and breadth of those benefitting from the services
  • capacity-building potential, including a contribution to sustainable arts practice
  • skills and professional development opportunities for artists and arts professionals
  • breadth and quality of community engagement, partnerships and collaborations
  • responsiveness to identified need or demand
  • innovation and improvement of operating models and frameworks.

Second criterion


Peers will assess the viability of your proposal.

They may consider:

  • capacity to deliver the proposed activities or services
  • relevance and timeliness of proposed activity
  • skills and ability of artists, arts professionals, collaborators or participants involved, and relevance to activity
  • realistic and achievable planning and resource use, including contingency and COVID-safe plans for activities involving public presentation, national or international travel
  • meaningful evaluation
  • appropriate payments to participating artists, arts professionals, collaborators, participants, or cultural consultants
  • the safety and wellbeing of people involved in the project
  • governance arrangements
  • role of partners or collaborators, including confirmation of involvement
  • diversity and scale of income and co-funding, including earned income, grants, sponsorship and in-kind contributions
  • where relevant to the project, evidence that the Protocols for First Nations Cultural and Intellectual Property in the Arts have been adhered to
  • evidence of appropriate consultation and engagement with participants, audiences or communities.

Third criterion

The third criterion tells us how the outcomes of your proposal meets our strategic goals, as described in our Corporate Plan.

You must choose one of the four options that best reflects the primary outcome of your proposal. Please contact Artists Services if you are unsure which criterion to select.

Peers will consider how your proposal contributes to the outcome you select. Remember, you do not need to respond to every bullet point listed.

Australians are transformed by arts and creativity

This criterion is about Australian audiences and experiences. For example, your project may

  • create inspiring artistic and cultural experiences and works
  • provide opportunities for communities to come together, celebrate and connect
  • provide creative and accessible experiences in unexpected places and ways
  • increase and diversify participation in arts and culture, particularly among diverse cultural groups and regional / remote communities
  • increase the experience of First Nations arts and culture by Australians
  • explore emerging mediums and digital technologies to create, share and experience art, creating connections with new audiences
  • demonstrate strong audience development and engagement strategies.


Our arts reflect us

This criterion is about diversity, access and equity. For example, your project may

  • enhance, strengthen and celebrate community and social connections
  • address barriers to participating in or experiencing arts and culture
  • support artistic and creative work that reflects the diversity of contemporary Australia
  • support artists and arts professionals from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds, and those in regional and remote Australia, to make work
  • supports artists and arts professionals with disability to extend their arts practice, networks or skills
  • support First Nations people’s artistic and cultural expression
  • engage young people in the creation of work.


First Nations arts and culture are cherished

This criterion is about First Nations self-determination and artistic and cultural expression. For example, your project may

  • strengthen and embed First Nations arts and culture within arts and cultural organisations, leadership roles and sectors
  • grow experiences of First Nations arts and culture by supporting artists and organisations to create and present work locally and/or internationally
  • promote greater access and participation in First Nations arts experiences
  • support opportunities for First Nations arts and cultural practitioners to build global networks
  • support First Nations young people’s artistic and cultural expression
  • uphold First Nations cultural rights through self-determination and recognition of cultural and intellectual property.


Arts and creativity are thriving

This criterion is about creation, capabilities, distribution and reach. For example, your project may

  • enable Australian artists to create new works
  • enable risk taking, experimentation and freedom of expression in the creation and realisation of new works
  • develop the skills and capabilities of artists and arts professionals
  • develop sustainable and viable artists careers and arts organisations, including diverse income streams or business models
  • support a safe environment and wellbeing for people working in the arts
  • enable national or international opportunities for Australian artists and arts professionals
  • engage international audiences with Australian work
  • use emerging technologies to experiment with content, format, delivery or business models
  • develop strong partnerships and collaborations.

Application form

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 examples of your work, bios of additional artists, and letters of support or permission from participants, communities, First nations orgnisations, and Elders.

Support material

You should submit support material with your application. The peer assessors may review this support material to help them gain a better sense of your project.

What you should provide

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, or need advice on what type of material to submit, please contact Artists Services.

There are three types of support material you may submit:

1.  Artistic support material

This should include relevant, recent examples of your artistic or cultural work, or the services you provide.

2.  Biographies and CVs

You can include a brief bio or curriculum vitae (CV) for key artists, personnel or other collaborators involved in your project.

Brief bios or CV information 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 how the project or activity will benefit you, other artists or arts professionals, participants or the broader community. It can also detail the support or involvement of key project partners, or evidence of consultation.

If relevant to your activity, letters of support must provide evidence of appropriate permissions and support from First Nations organisations, communities, and Elders. Please refer to the First Nations Protocols for more information.

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

Types of support material we accept

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

You can provide up to three URLs (weblinks) that link to content that is relevant to your proposal. This may include video, audio, images, or written material.

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).

Please note: Our peer assessors will not access any URLs that require them to log in or sign up to a platform. Please do not provide links to Spotify or other applications that require users to log in or pay for access.

If you are linking to media files that are private or password protected like Vimeo, please provide the password in the password field on the application form.

Other accepted file formats

If you cannot supply support material via URLs, you may upload support material to 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).

Apply now 

Download the accessible RTF version of this page.


If you need advice about applying, contact an Artists Services Officer now.

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