MPA Collaborative Arts Projects

Applications are now closed.

The MPA Collaborative Arts Projects - Organisations program funds new collaborations and partnerships between major performing arts companies (MPA) and the broader sector and community groups.

The program is intended to support and encourage a range of activities that foster meaningful long term positive outcomes for collaborative partners and focus communities, with particular emphasis on the six priority areas set out in the Australia Council’s Cultural Engagement Framework. Successful applicants will be required to provide an evaluation from the collaborative partner on the project outcomes at the conclusion of the funded activity.

Grants are available from $10,000 to $100,000. Supported activities must last no longer than two years from the proposed start date.

Closing dates

For 2019, the closing date is at midnight on the 16 April 2019, for projects starting after 1 July 2019.

Technical support will not be available after 5pm on the closing day.

Applicants will be notified of the outcome of their application approximately 8 weeks after the closing date.

Who can apply

We only accept applications from Major Performing Arts organisations as defined by the National Framework for Governments’ Support of the Major Performing Arts Sector. Collaborations can be with any funded or unfunded arts or community organisation in Australia.

Priority may be given to collaborations between organisations who are working together for the first time and to projects which respond to Council’s Cultural Engagement Framework.  

Companies are only eligible to submit one application to this round.

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.

What can be applied for

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

·  promotion and marketing

·  market development activity

·  development of reciprocal engagement activities with diverse communities which leave a positive legacy

·  partnerships and collaborations outside the arts to deliver positive social outcomes

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 or have been programmed.

Peer assessment

A Multi-art form panel will assess your application.

Assessment criteria

Peers will assess your application against the following three criteria.

To assess how well your application meets our criteria, peers consider a number of prompts. 

Please note that not all of the prompts will apply to your application, they are examples of the things our peers may consider.

1. Artistic merit

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

They may consider:

·  the artistic rationale and process

·  the context of the work

·  the significance of the work

·  the level of experimentation and risk taking involved in the work

·  the quality of work previously produced

·  public or peer response to work previously produced

·  the nature of the collaboration, including the leadership roles of the two organisations within the collaboration

2. Viability

Peers will assess the viability of your proposal. 

They may consider:

·  the reciprocal outcomes, roles of  collaborative partners, and confirmation of their involvement

·  relevance and timeliness of the proposed activity

·  the skills and artistic ability of the people involved and their relevance to the proposed activity

·  realistic and achievable planning, resource use and evaluation

·  fees payable to artists involved

·  the timetable and budget

·  both organisations’ capacity and governance arrangements

·  diversity and scale of income and co-funding - including matched philanthropic support, earned income, grants, sponsorship and cash and in-kind contributions

·  proposals which involve working with diverse audiences or communities, peers will look for demonstrated cultural competencies and appropriateness.

3. Please address one of the following criteria

The third criterion will help to tell us how your project may contribute towards delivering the aims of our strategic plan to support the arts in Australia.  We’ll ask you to choose the criterion which you think best reflects the primary outcome of your project.


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

They may consider how the proposed activity:

·  develops your area of practice

·  contributes to diverse artistic practice

·  builds or develops national or international collaborations

·  engages young people in the creation of work


Peers will assess the contribution to audience engagement. 

They may consider how the proposed activity:

·  stimulates your audience

·  increases or diversifies audiences

·  satisfies existing audience demand

·  delivers long term benefits for audiences

·  increases Australians' experience of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander arts and culture

Access and Participation

Peers will assess the contribution to access to, and participation in, the arts.

They may consider how the proposed activity:

·  increases participation in arts and culture, particularly among diverse groups and regional/remote communities

·  impacts on participants

·  increases Australian’s experience of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander arts and culture

·  strengthens artistic experiences for children and young people

Application form

Apply for Collaborative Arts Projects - Organisations online (Online system only available after 4 March 2019)

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

  • a title for your project (100 characters)
  • a summary of your project (800 characters)
  • a brief description of both organisations involved in the collaboration (2400 characters)
  • an outline of your project and what you want to do (6000 characters)

   This should include:

  1. a description of what is unique and new about this particular collaboration and how the two organisations will genuinely work together
  2. a description of what both organisations will contribute to the project (cash and/or in-kind
  3. the individual leadership roles of the two organisations within the collaboration process
  4. expected outcomes/benefits that each organisation will gain from working with the other
  5. If your project involves collaborating with a First Nations organisations or artist/s, you should reference the relevant Indigenous Arts Protocols and explain how your project will encourage a strong, collaborative, consultative and respectful engagement.
  • a timetable or itinerary for your project
  • a description of the outcome your project delivers, including proposed presentation format (2400 characters )
  • an outline of how you will elicit feedback and seek evaluation from your collaborative partner on the project outcomes (2400 characters)
  • a projected budget which details the expenses, income and in-kind support for the project
  • support material as relevant to your project, including an artistic example, additional artist bios and letters of support from participants or communities.

Support material

Additional material can be submitted to help support your application. Support material may help peers gain an understanding of the quality of your work, and where relevant, the skills and role of other artists or partners involved.

You can submit the following support material with your application:

1. Artistic support material

You can submit up to three URLs (a website link) to written material, images, video or audio as a recent example of your work. It may be useful to include artistic support material relating to both collaborating organisations.

Peers may review up to:

·  10 pages of written material

·  10 images

·  10 mins of video or audio recording

To find out more about support material, including advice on how to get examples of your work online click here.

In some circumstances we will accept support material in another format. Please contact staff for further advice.

2.  Additional artist information

You can include a brief bio or curriculum vitae summary of any additional artists involved in your project. All bios should be included as a single document and a maximum of two pages in total.

3.  Letters of support

Where appropriate, you can include up to five letters from proposed participants in support of your project (for example, participating individuals, organisations and/or community groups).

This should include a letter from your collaborating organisation, outlining their vision for this project.

All letters of support should be included as a single document and a maximum of five pages in total.


If you have any questions about this program, please contact either Manager, MPA Contracts Tegan Richardson ( or 02 9215 9117) or Arts Practice Director, Dance Adrian Burnett ( or 02 92159015). 


·  It takes up to two business days for us to process new registrations, so please ensure you register well before the closing date.

·  We no longer accept registrations from groups. While groups are still eligible for funding, the application must be made by an individual member of the group.

Any questions?

Contact our grants team

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