Build your practice with our international neighbours


Our work aims to strengthen the Australian arts and cultural sector’s international engagement, reputation, vital relationships and collaborations; and expand international opportunities for Australian artists through initiatives that support connection and engagement without physical mobility.

  • To support a diverse and inclusive global art making practice that actively prioritises First Nations, Culturally and Linguistically Diverse (CaLD), disability, ageing and young people-focused practices.
  • To build capacity and increase growth for Australian arts in established markets, while responding to emerging trends, inter-regional relationships and new markets.
  • To build the capacity of the Australian arts sector to engage and participate internationally.
  • To showcase Australian art and artists internationally and here in Australia to international taste makers.
  • To provide opportunities for cultural exchange, skills and creative development within a global context.

Our International Arts Strategy

The Australia Council is the leading public funder of international arts and cultural activity in Australia, investing in international mobility and exchange through strategic and grants programs for over 30 years. Our investment over the long-term has strengthened the financial stability and artistic development of the arts and cultural sector and contributed to Australia’s reputation as a sophisticated and creative nation with a confident, outward-looking and future focused arts sector.

A post-COVID-19 environment requires significant reconsideration of what international engagement looks like. The International Art Strategy 2015-2020 has been retired and will be replaced with a new strategy incorporating international engagement, mobility and exchange. See our international announcement from August 2020 for further information.

Artists and organisations seeking funding for viable international engagement can apply to the Arts Projects grant categories closing Tuesday 2 March 2021 for projects starting after 1 June 2021.

A program of engagement without physical mobility will be implemented in the interim to support artists and organisations to stay connected, ensuring the continuation of vital relationships, collaborations and influence with peers, that in turn lead to future opportunities for Australian artists. Over 2020-2021 our work will focus on:


  • Supporting the arts sector to continue connections through market intelligence, digital peer-to-peer exchange, activating partnerships, and testing and supporting hybrid models for collaboration and reaching audiences and influencers.
  • Maintenance of a small number of contracted international initiatives and sunsetting initiatives that will not carry forward into the next phase of the International Arts Strategy.
  • Delivery of Venice Biennale project including activation of supporting professional development program (development year).


  • Evaluation of the International Arts Strategy 2015 – 2020.


  • Transitioning strategic international investment into a holistic program of engagement with the Sector Development team.
  • Going beyond a regional focus and identifying umbrella priorities for international engagement, mobility and exchange aligned with Sector Development priorities and Council’s Corporate Plan. For example: our neighbourhood (Asia Pacific); First Nations first; Culturally and Linguistically Diverse people (CaLD); people with disability; children and young people; and regional and remote artists and audiences for Australian work.
  • Research and development of the next phase of the International Arts Strategy within the Sector Development framework and in consultation with the sector.
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