Arts and disability mentoring initiative 2019-21

This program is for individuals with disability undertaking an artistic collaboration involving mentoring.

About this initiative

The Australia Council for the Arts is offering six grants of $30,000 in each Arts and Disability Mentoring Initiative round.

If you are an individual artist or arts worker with disability, these grants can provide support to extend your arts practice, networks, skills and ambition.

This program is for individuals with disability undertaking an artistic collaboration involving mentoring. The proposal should lead to a major step forward in the applicant’s arts practice and build foundations for an enduring career. The purpose is to support collaborations that fuel ambition, embolden ideas and innovation, build networks and capacity, and strengthen future works.

We encourage applications from:

  • artists and arts professionals with disability seeking to collaborate with a mentor
  • artists and arts professionals with disability seeking to be the mentor in a collaboration, including peer to peer mentoring.

This initiative has been developed in response to Australia Council research involving artists and arts workers with disability. The findings highlighted the importance of role models and mentors, and of disability-led practice. The research has informed the Australia Council’s three-year strategic investment in artists with disability.

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

  • Only individuals may apply to this category.
  • You must be an Australian citizen or an Australian permanent resident.
  • You must identify as an artist or arts professional with disability.

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.

We do not accept applications from legally constituted organisations in this category.

You can apply for a range of activities. Your proposal should include a mentoring component. Some examples of the activities we fund are:

  • collaboration
  • professional skills development
  • residencies
  • experimentation
  • creation of new work
  • creative development
  • practice based research
  • presentation, promotion, or marketing
  • inbound and outbound travel.

You can’t apply for projects or activities that:

  • do not involve or benefit practicing artists or arts workers
  • do not have a clearly defined arts component
  • have already taken place
  • do not involve a clear mentoring component.

Applications to this initiative will be assessed by peers from the arts sector. For more information see: How applications are assessed.

All applicants will be advised of the outcome of their application once the assessment has been completed.

Details of the grant recipients will be published on the Australia Council website. These details will include the name of each recipient, their resident state or territory, the amount awarded, the panel which assessed the application (disability panel) and the name of the round (the Arts and Disability Mentoring Initiative). Please contact us if you do not wish to have your name published.

You must address three assessment criteria in this category.

Under each criterion are bullet points indicating what the peer assessors may consider when reviewing your application. You do not need to respond to every bullet point listed.

Potential and calibre of the artist/art workers

Peers will assess the potential of the collaboration between artists / arts professionals at the centre of your proposal, and the calibre of those involved.

They may consider the following:

  • artistic merit of proposed project
  • quality of work previously produced by the applicant and collaborator
  • public or peer response to work previously produced
  • demonstrated ability, skills and creative thinking
  • level of innovation, ambition, experimentation or risk-taking.

Viability

  • Peers will assess the viability of your proposal.
  • They may consider the following:
  • skills and artistic ability of the people involved, and their relevance to the proposed activity
  • effective use of resources, with realistic and achievable planning
  • level of confirmation of proposed activities and partners
  • adherence to relevant cultural protocols
  • appropriate payments to participating artists
  • relevance and timeliness of proposed activity
  • evidence of considered consultation and engagement with participants, audiences and communities.

Impact on arts practice and career

Peers will assess the impact that the proposed activity will have on your arts practice and career.

They may consider the following:

  • capacity to strengthen skills and abilities of artists/arts professionals
  • potential to extend arts practice, including working at greater scale or significance
  • potential to discover and develop new markets, or meet existing market demand
  • relevance and timeliness of activity
  • significance of the collaboration, including contribution to arts and disability practice.

Instructions and a link to the online application form are available here

The application form will ask you to provide:

  • a title for your project
  • a summary of your project
  • a brief bio of the artist applying
  • an outline of your project and what you want to do
  • a timetable or itinerary for your project
  • an outline of how this project will impact your career
  • details of the expenses, income and in-kind support of the project, including any access and support costs
  • supporting material relevant to your project, including an artistic example, bios of additional artists, and letters of support from participants or communities.

You may submit support material with your application. Industry advisers and Australia Council staff 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 Artists Services.

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:

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

You can include a brief bio or curriculum vitae (CV) for yourself and any additional artists, mentors, mentees, 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.

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.

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)

The initiative is designed to support a wide variety of arts project or career development activities, including the creation of new work, career development, residencies, research and development, presentation. Funds from this grant can be used for any of these activities, provided that the proposal includes a mentoring component.

Mentoring is any supportive relationship that encourages the sharing of knowledge, skills and experience. Mentoring can be structured or informal and can include peer-to-peer mentoring. For the purposes of this initiative, it is interpreted very broadly and informed by the needs and priorities of the applicant. The Australia Council for the Arts Guide to Mentoring is a useful reference.

Traditional approaches view mentoring as someone more experienced imparting knowledge. However, all mentoring involves two-way learning. Peer-to-peer mentoring assumes an even playing field and exchange of knowledge in the relationship, where everyone involved contributes and learns from different perspectives and experience. Equality in mentoring relationships is important in a disability context to ensure lived experience is valued and recognised. It is also important to collaborations across different art forms or between the arts and other industries.

The Australia Council expects that artists professionally employed or engaged on Australia Council-funded activities will be remunerated for their work, including artists with disability. Peers assessing applications for the Arts and Disability Mentoring Initiative will consider remuneration when they look at the viability of projects. You should make provision in your budget for appropriate payment of artists and project participants. For more information, refer to the Australia Council policy on the payment of artists: https://www.australiacouncil.gov.au/funding/payment-of-artists/

Not necessarily. The applicant must identify as a person with disability and can be either the mentee or the mentor. The guidelines have been designed so the applicant with disability can identify who is best placed to work with them on their collaboration.

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, Skype, and, where possible, in person.

Unfortunately 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 engaging an administering (auspicing) body or speaking to an appropriate arts and disability body, member organisation or other sector based agency. Contact the Artists Services team.

Contact the grants team to discuss your project and ask any questions you have about the initiative and application process.

If you need help writing your application, we also encourage you to contact one of the arts and disability peak bodies:  https://www.australiacouncil.gov.au/about/resources/

Yes. We encourage you to submit your application using our online system. However you are welcome to submit your application in any way that is accessible to you (for example other formats can include Auslan, audio, video, printed, dictated, electronic and handwritten formats. Contact the Artists Services team to discuss your needs.

Applications to the Arts and Disability Mentoring Initiative will be assessed by the Arts and Disability panel. The panel is made up of artists and arts professionals across art forms and across states and territories. Most of the assessors will identify as an artist or arts professional with disability.

How competitive will it be?

As a national arts funding body, all Australia Council funding is highly competitive. Across the previous two rounds in 2019 and 2020, the Arts and Disability Mentoring Initiative success rate was 10%.

No. You will be asked whether or not you identify as a person or group with disability. However, you may be asked to provide more details of your disability to the Australia Council, or provide a medical certificate/letter of support.

If you are successful in receiving this funding, you will have the option of not publishing your name as a recipient of the Arts and Disability Mentoring Initiative. Please contact the grants team if you do not want to be publicly identified.

The initiative is not designed to provide indirect funding to organisations. Applications are only open to individuals and groups. Contact the grants team if you are unsure. Contact the Artists Services team if you are unsure.

Yes, but note that the initiative is not designed to provide indirect funding to organisations. Your proposal must demonstrate that the artist/arts worker with disability will have creative control of the project. Contact the grants team to discuss your application if you are unsure.

If you are unable to complete the application form, a support worker or other person helping you with the application can sign on your behalf.

If you wish to be considered for the arts and disability specific funding, please select ‘Arts and Disability funding panel’ on the application form.

Additional resources

Eligibility

  • Only individuals may apply to this category.
  • You must be an Australian citizen or an Australian permanent resident.
  • You must identify as an artist or arts professional with disability.

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.

We do not accept applications from legally constituted organisations in this category.

You can apply for a range of activities. Your proposal should include a mentoring component. Some examples of the activities we fund are:

  • collaboration
  • professional skills development
  • residencies
  • experimentation
  • creation of new work
  • creative development
  • practice based research
  • presentation, promotion, or marketing
  • inbound and outbound travel.

You can’t apply for projects or activities that:

  • do not involve or benefit practicing artists or arts workers
  • do not have a clearly defined arts component
  • have already taken place
  • do not involve a clear mentoring component.

Once you submit your application, we will send you an email acknowledging receipt of your application.

After you submit your application, we first check it meets the eligibility criteria for the grant or opportunity to which you are applying.

Applications to the Australia Council Grant Programs are assessed by arts practice peer panels against the published assessment criteria for the relevant grant program.

We aim to notify you of the outcome of your application no later than 12 weeks after the published closing date for the applicable grant round.

 

The Australia Council also offers a variety of other grants and opportunities which are not assessed in the same way. Please refer the guidelines for the relevant grant or opportunity to find out how it is assessed.

Useful links

For FAQ’s relating to the grants model, please click here.

Please contact the Artists Services team.

Frequently Asked Questions

The initiative is designed to support a wide variety of arts project or career development activities, including the creation of new work, career development, residencies, research and development, presentation. Funds from this grant can be used for any of these activities, provided that the proposal includes a mentoring component.

Mentoring is any supportive relationship that encourages the sharing of knowledge, skills and experience. Mentoring can be structured or informal and can include peer-to-peer mentoring. For the purposes of this initiative, it is interpreted very broadly and informed by the needs and priorities of the applicant. The Australia Council for the Arts Guide to Mentoring is a useful reference.

Traditional approaches view mentoring as someone more experienced imparting knowledge. However, all mentoring involves two-way learning. Peer-to-peer mentoring assumes an even playing field and exchange of knowledge in the relationship, where everyone involved contributes and learns from different perspectives and experience. Equality in mentoring relationships is important in a disability context to ensure lived experience is valued and recognised. It is also important to collaborations across different art forms or between the arts and other industries.

The Australia Council expects that artists professionally employed or engaged on Australia Council-funded activities will be remunerated for their work, including artists with disability. Peers assessing applications for the Arts and Disability Mentoring Initiative will consider remuneration when they look at the viability of projects. You should make provision in your budget for appropriate payment of artists and project participants. For more information, refer to the Australia Council policy on the payment of artists: https://www.australiacouncil.gov.au/funding/payment-of-artists/

Not necessarily. The applicant must identify as a person with disability and can be either the mentee or the mentor. The guidelines have been designed so the applicant with disability can identify who is best placed to work with them on their collaboration.