Space to Create II: Music Residency

An intensive residential program that provides First Nations creatives at all levels with studio space, mentoring, production support + more.

Photo of Yil Lull studio technician and leader Will Kepa. Credit: ANU Media.

Space to Create

First Nations music industry residency

Photo of Yil Lull studio technician and leader Will Kepa. Credit: ANU Media.

About the program

Space to Create is an intensive music industry residential program. The delivery of the program will be flexible and adapted to each of the participants’ requirements. The aim of the program is to create a dedicated space so each of the participants can take the time to sustain and grow creative ideas including composition, voice coaching, strengthen technical skills and to provide professional development opportunities for the future.

The program is open to emerging through to established First Nations musicians, artists, songwriters, audio engineers, producers and those employed in the music industry. The program will be delivered in partnership with the Australian National University’s School of Music and the Yil Lull recording studio.

‘The studio is named after the song Yil Lull by legendary First Nations musician Joe Geia, to honour his standing in the industry, and is used with his permission.’

Space to Create will provide:

  • on campus space, time and resources to develop the participant’s music practice, professional and creative ideas and industry networks
  • technical support from ANU and Yil Lull staff
  • access to state-of-the-art recording studios and studio production support
  • access to mastering and video editing
  • music industry masterclasses and creative labs tailored to meet the participants’ needs
  • one-on-one mentoring for the participants by selected music industry professionals
  • First Nations community and cultural engagement.
  • a fee for the residency period ($1,000 plus a $75 per day per diem to cover the seven-day residency)
  • accommodation, living expenses and travel.

‘The studio is named after the song Yil Lull by legendary First Nations musician Joe Geia, to honour his standing in the industry, and is used with his permission.’

In partnership with:

The First Nations music sector has grown rapidly in recent years, so the Australia Council held two First Nations music-focused roundtables in 2020 and surveyed the needs, opportunities and challenges faced by First Nations musicians across the country.

A key finding was the ongoing need for musicians and industry workers to have the time and resources for creative and professional development.

Council formed a partnership with the ANU School of Music to deliver Space to Create in 2022.  In 2023, we are delivering Space to Create II.

Situated on Ngunnawal-Ngambri country in the heart of the nation’s capital, and on the campus of Australia’s foremost research university, the School of Music at ANU has a proud and rich history. For nearly 50 years the school has played a leading role in the cultural life of Canberra and the surrounding region.

It is home to the Yil Lull Studio, which offers free recording and music assistance to First Nations musicians from across Australia. Established in 2021, the studio is led by Torres Strait Islander musician Will Kepa. Will’s vision for the studio is to be “a place for us, our mob, to come and meet; to create and to share; to expand on our stories; to keep our culture alive and our music alive; and to just keep that fire burning”.

To apply log in here to our Application Management System (AMS) if you have an account. You can create an account if you do not already have one.

Once you have logged in, follow the next steps:

  1. select ‘Apply for a Grant’ from the left panel menu
  2. from the list of opportunities select ‘Space to Create’
  3. complete the fields and select answers with dropdown menus
  4. upload any necessary support material
  5. select ‘Save’ once complete
  6. if you are not ready to submit your application, you can return to it through ‘Your Draft Applications’ in the left panel menu at a later date
  7. otherwise select ‘Submit’.

To apply, you will need to provide details of your project and what you would like to achieve through the Space to Create program.

Projects can include development of:

  • album or EP concept development
  • multi-disciplinary and cross sector projects
  • film soundtrack and commercial jingles
  • music for theatre productions
  • sound engineering, production and mastering projects
  • music recording projects
  • informed instrumental/vocal plans of development
  • concepts for a suite of songs
  • innovative music industry business planning
  • cross-genre music projects
  • artist management development
  • artist /marketing/promotion
  • record label development
  • publishing label development
  • touring and festival circuit development plans.

To apply for this opportunity online, applicants need to provide a detailed proposal outlining what they would like to achieve through the Space to Create residential program.

 Who can apply?

This opportunity is only open to:

  • individual First Nations musicians, engineers, producers and or music industry professionals
  • Australian citizens or Australian permanent residents.

Who cannot apply?

  • you are not a First Nations artist or music industry representative
  • you received a grant from the Australia Council in the past and that grant has not been satisfactorily acquitted.
  • you owe money to the Australia Council.

Applications will be assessed by First Nations music industry peers, on the following criteria:

1. The cultural integrity of the project

  • adherence to relevant cultural protocols.

2. The skills and strengths of individuals involved in the activity

  • artistic and/or merit of the project
  • experience of artists and industry workers
  • quality of work previously produced.

3. The benefits of the activity for the individuals

  • clear need for this activity at this time
  • relevance and timeliness of the residency to the applicant’s career
  • capacity to strengthen skills and ability of the individual.

The application form asks you to:

  1. provide a brief description of your artistic and/or professional practice
  2. describe how your planned activity will strengthen and develop your creative practice and/or your professional development
  3. provide support material.

1. Evidence of your practice

Provide recent examples of your artistic and/or professional work that are relevant to the activity. This could include, but is not limited to:

  • a link to examples of your work that may include video, audio, images or written material
  • a link to examples of your proposed activity that may include video, audio, images or written material
  • links to websites and related social media sites.

We strongly recommend you link to existing, accessible examples of your work – there is no need to create new content for this application.

2. Letters of support

Individuals, groups or organisations can write letters of support for your activity if appropriate. These letters should explain:

  • how the activity will benefit your practice or professional development
  • how appropriate cultural protocols have been observed and permissions obtained.

You can include up to three letters of support for your project with each letter no longer than one A4 page. Where possible, combine your letters into a single document or link.

How to provide your support material

Our preferred way of receiving support material is via URLs (web links). You can submit up to three URLs, which may include your website, or links to video, audio, images, scanned documents and written material.

If you cannot provide URLs, you can attach up to two documents to your application in either PDF or Word formats.

We do not accept support material submitted via post.