Contemporary Touring Initiative

The Contemporary Touring Initiative (CTI), as part of the Visual Arts and Craft Strategy, supports significant exhibitions of work by living contemporary visual artists and craft practitioners that reach and engage national audiences, and extend into regional communities

About the program

The Contemporary Touring Initiative (CTI), as part of the Visual Arts and Craft Strategy, supports significant exhibitions of work by living contemporary visual artists and craft practitioners that reach and engage national audiences, and extend into regional communities. The grant provides up to three years of funding for the development and/or national touring of nationally significant contemporary visual arts and craft exhibitions.

The program is targeted to ambitious organisations with demonstrated contemporary visual arts exhibition development and touring expertise to develop and/or tour an exhibition between calendar years 2021-2024.

The program will support projects that best demonstrate:

  • cutting-edge practice and innovation in how contemporary visual arts and craft is exhibited and toured, including new ways to reach and engage audiences
  • exhibitions that include the work of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander artists
  • strong partnerships, reach and impact in regional communities.

A national tour is defined as one that includes three or more States and Territories outside of the applicant’s home State or Territory.

Applicants awarded Contemporary Touring Initiative funding will be required to submit a progress report at the end of Year 1 of their grant in order to be paid in advance for subsequent touring years including:

  • itinerary and revised touring budget
  • presenter / venue confirmation forms for the tour. At least 40% of touring venues must be in regional areas.

Only organisations are eligible to 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 can apply for:

  • costs of research, development and design of the exhibition, including partnership development, critical writing, artist fees
  • commissioning of new work
  • the costs of touring, including exhibition production, installation, freight, engagement, promotion, public programs, artist residencies etc.
  • You may apply for costs associated with the delivery of COVID Safe touring. These may include costs such as additional cleaning costs within exhibition locations or for Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) to ensure the safety of the touring party.

Access costs are legitimate expenses and may be included in your application. We encourage applicants to ensure that their work is accessible to everyone. Therefore, budgets may also include costs associated with making activities accessible to a wide range of people (e.g. performances using Auslan, translation to other languages, captioning, audio description, temporary building adjustments, and materials in other formats).

If you are an applicant with a disability, or are working with artists with disability, you may apply for access costs associated with the use of an interpreter, translation services, specific technical equipment, carer or support worker assistance. Please contact Artists Services to discuss your specific needs.

You can’t apply for the following activity:

  • core salaries.

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, and 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.

Your application will be assessed by a panel of peer assessors. The peers will represent a range of areas relevant to contemporary visual arts and crafts exhibitions and touring.

Peers will assess your application against the following four criteria.

To assess how well your application meets our criteria, peers consider several prompts.

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

Peers will assess the quality of your proposal.

They may consider:

  • Curatorial excellence, including selection of work that is relevant and timely to the diversity of contemporary Australian culture.
  • Innovation in the touring model.
  • Calibre and track record of the applicant organisation, including but not limited to the touring track record of the applicant.
  • Expertise and track record of the participating artists and key personnel.
  • Relevance of the partners and their level of commitment to the project
  • Scale of the tour.

Peers will assess the level of engagement with audiences, communities and partners in your proposal.

They may consider:

  • Evidence of presenter partnerships and collaboration with regional presenters and venues, including the extent to which regional presenters have confirmed or expressed interest in participating.
  • The engagement experiences offered to regional communities, including audience attendance, public programming, opportunities to interact with artists and work, online and educational engagement activities, and community engagement activities.
  • How partnerships will be developed and maintained with presenters throughout the triennium.

Peers will assess how broad the reach of your proposal is across the visual arts sector.

They may consider:

  • the plans to develop audiences and/or meet audience demand in the proposed locations, including communication and marketing strategies
  • evidence of diverse, strong partnerships across the contemporary visual arts sector
  • The range and diversity of touring destinations.

Peers will assess the viability of your proposal.

They may consider:

  • evidence of a realistic and accurate budget
  • an exhibition planning schedule confirming productions, itineraries and budgets at the touring stage.
  • The logic of any proposed itinerary, including the impact this may have on the touring budget.
  • Capacity to deliver the project.
  • Forecasting of the way Contemporary Touring Initiative funding may be leveraged to enhance touring deliverables over the three-year period.
  • Appropriate COVIDSafe protocols in place for artists, venues or locations and audiences.
  • Where relevant, evidence that you have considered and addressed any access issues associated with your project.

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

  • the type of activity you will undertake
  • a title for your project
  • a summary of your project
  • an outline of your project and what you want to do
  • a timetable and touring itinerary for your project
  • how your project meets the assessment criteria
  • a projected budget which details the expenses, income, and in-kind support of the project
  • supporting material as relevant to your project.

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.

If your project includes research, development, design or commissioning activities, you should provide:

  • Artistic support material relevant to the project
  • Biographies and CVs of the key artists, personnel or other collaborators.

If your project includes exhibition and touring activities, you should provide:

  • expressions of interest or letters of confirmation, submitted as one combined PDF, from regional venues from at least three states or territories in your tour
  • letters of support from up to five key non-venue partners, combined into a single PDF.

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 pages of written material
  • 10 minutes of video and/or audio recording
  • 10 images.

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 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:

  • written material (Word and PDF)
  • images (JPEG and PowerPoint)
  • video (MP4, QuickTime, and Windows Media)
  • audio (MP3 and Windows Media).

FAQs

Under the Contemporary Touring Initiative, a national tour is five or more locations to at least three states or territories outside the applicant’s home state. To be eligible the locations on a tour must have consecutive exhibition dates. Breaks in the middle of a consecutive schedule of exhibition venues are possible if there is a compelling reason and the impact on the funding request is minimal.

The presented work must be mainly by living contemporary Australian visual artists and craft practitioners.

To be eligible for Contemporary Touring Initiative funding, the work exhibited within a touring exhibition needs to be produced by Australian artists, or produced by an artist or collective of artists who are Australian citizens or have permanent resident status in Australia. An eligible work could also include a component of work produced by Australian and international artists as part of an Australian-international collaboration. Work of artists who are not Australian citizen may also be incorporated into an exhibition provided they are in a minority of the artists presented.

This Australia Council uses the ARIA (Accessibility Remoteness Index of Australia) to determine the regional classification for each town. The ARIA considers a range of factors, including distance to services, to group all locations in Australia into 5 ARIA Code areas. To find out if your project meets the eligible criteria (i.e. inclusion of venues with an ARIA rating of 1-4), and search for the relevant ARIA codes, please download this form. If you need help with your application, contact a Artists Services officer now.

Yes, as long as you also include at least 40% of venues in regional locations in your itinerary.

Yes, your itinerary can include activities that offer additional opportunities for the community to engage with the artists or the art. As the main focus of this fund is exhibitions, additional activities should be scheduled in an efficient way within the itinerary.

Research costs, development and design of the exhibition, including partnership development, critical writing, artist fees, commissioning of new work, the costs of touring, including exhibition production, installation, freight, engagement, promotion, public programs, artist residencies. Under the fixed-term adjustments for applications to CMTP in 2021, applicants may also request costs associated with COVID Safe delivery and contingency.

Both buying and hiring equipment for the presentation of an exhibition are eligible. Applicants are encouraged to choose the most cost effective option and articulate a compelling reason within the application.