Investment FAQs

Perhaps you have a question about our grants program? Click on one of the topics below to read some of the most frequently asked questions.

Perhaps you have a question about our grants program? Click on one of the topics below to read some of the most frequently asked questions.

 

All grant applications are submitted through our online system.

We have anticipated a few of the questions about the application process below.

 

Frequently asked questions

You can only make one submission per closing date to each of the following categories: Arts Projects for Individuals and Groups, Fellowships and Arts Projects for Organisations.

You will receive your grant payment within two weeks of accepting your funding agreement. Please note we pay our grants in the financial year which they are approved. We will not adjust payment timelines to the particular circumstances of individuals.

The deadline for applications is at 3:00pm AET on the closing date. We strongly recommend submitting before this. Administrative and technical support is only available during office hours (Monday-Friday) 9am to 5 pm AET. Late applications will not be accepted.

Yes, if you have support materials such as letters from project partners, collaborators or participants that are in languages other than English (including Auslan), we can arrange translation or captioning.

Please contact the Artists Services team at least four weeks before the closing date of the grant round to which you are intending to make an application. If you do not contact us at least four weeks before the closing date, we may not have sufficient time to meet your translation needs.

Our online application form also has a checkbox at the top which you can tick if you have attached materials in a language other than English. This alerts the Artists Services team that you have submitted these materials.

We do not accept applications submitted via post. Any material received by post will not be assessed and will be returned to the sender. If you think you will have difficulty submitting your application online, please contact Artists Services.

We do not amend, correct, update or change any part of your application once it has been submitted. However, if you receive additional confirmations for activities or artists after the closing date you may alert us to these, and we may bring them to the attention of peer assessors at the assessment meeting. These updates could include confirmation that a proposed activity will take place, a partnership has been secured, or funding from another source has been received.

You can update us about such confirmations by contacting us. Briefly describe the nature of the confirmation and cite your application reference number.  You do not need to send us copies of confirmation emails from third parties – if we need to see evidence of the confirmation we will request it.

If you wish to update your application once it has been submitted, but the closing date has not yet passed, you can submit a new, updated application and request to withdraw the original one by emailing operationsservicedesk@australiacouncil.gov.au

Grant applications can be found and are submitted through our online system. If you are using the system for the first time you will need to register your details before filling out a grant application form.

 

Applicants will be notified of the outcome of their application approximately 12 weeks after the closing date. Please see the guidelines page for the grant category you are interested in for more details.

We accept applications in the following artforms and arts practice areas: Aboriginal and Torres Islander Arts, Community Arts and Cultural Development, Emerging and Experimental Arts, Multi-Arts, Music, Dance, Theatre, Visual Arts and Literature.

If you are unsure of which assessment panel you should apply to, and for more information about what constitutes Community Arts and Cultural Development, Multi-Arts and Emerging and Experimental Arts, please refer to the Investment FAQs page.

We define a ‘group’ as two or more individuals who do not form a legally constituted organisation.  This can include co-collaborators and collectives.  Groups are not eligible to apply to programs open only to organisations.

An ‘organisation’ is a legally constituted organisation that is registered or created by law. For example, incorporated associations, companies limited by guarantee or government statutory authorities are all defined as organisations. Organisations that are not legally constituted are not eligible to apply for funding in grant categories that are open to organisations only. Organisations may be required to provide a certificate of incorporation or evidence of their current legal status.  Funding programs for organisations are not intended for sole traders or partnerships.

No.

Yes. However, the contact person for group applications must be an Australian citizen or permanent resident.

Yes, provided that the project that they are proposing directly benefits Australian artists or the Australian arts sector.

We provide funding to practising artists or artsworkers. While you may not regularly earn income from your practice, you must be identified and recognised by your peers as a practising artist or artsworker. This may include cultural practitioners, editors, producers, curators and arts managers.

No. If you have an overdue grant acquittal you will not be eligible to apply for any further grants.

The following eligibility requirements apply to applicants to the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Island Arts Assessment Panel:

  • Individuals – must be Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander
  • Groups – the members of the group must be Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander
  • Organisations – the majority of the governing body of the organisation must be Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander.

Yes. However, if your Catalyst project funding concludes after September 2018 it will be counted as one of your applications to the Australia Council for 2018.

No. Only Australian citizens and Australian permanent residents may apply to the Australia Council for funding. Foreign nationals who are permitted to live and work in Australia by holding visas such as a Special Category visa or a Bridging visa are not eligible to apply.

Yes. Creative research and development is a key component of the creative process and can be funded through our Arts Projects grants.

Yes. We accept applications in languages other than English, including Auslan.

If any part of your application requires translation into English, please contact the Artists Services team at least four weeks before the closing date of the round to which you intend to apply. We will use our best and all reasonable endeavours to assist in having some or all of the material translated. However we reserve the right to refuse an application in a language other than English if we believe there is no genuine reason to accept such an application, or if the time-frame for translation precludes us from making the materials available for assessment in the round to which it was submitted.

If you wish to request an application form in a language other than English, please contact the Artists Services team at least 12 weeks before the closing date of the round to which you intend to apply.

We reserve the right to refuse an application form translation request if we believe there is no genuine reason for the request. We also reserve the right to refuse an application form translation if the time-frame for translation prevents us from providing a translated form in time for assessment in the round to which it was submitted.

Where you have supplied creative content in a language other than English, we may engage an industry expert to provide the peers with an evaluation of the artistic merit of that creative content.

You can speak with staff at the Australia Council in your first language. Please telephone the Translating and Interpreting Service on 131 450 (local call anywhere in Australia) and ask to be connected with the Australia Council.

Applications that focus solely on academic studies, or are for activities that are part of assessable coursework are unlikely to be successful with our assessment panels. Assessment panels are also unlikely to support applications requesting the costs of academic fees or courses.

If you wish to apply for study costs, explain to the panel how your project extends, or supplements, the course’s standard curriculum requirements. Also, bear in mind that your project will be assessed on artistic merit of the work.

If you are applying for an Arts Projects grant for funding to complete a training program, course, workshop or diploma, explain how doing so will impact positively on your career or practice.

While we can support screen-based art, we do not generally support activities associated with feature film, television or documentary. See Screen Australia, the Federal Government’s primary agency for production of Australian screen activity. https://www.screenaustralia.gov.au/

No, we do not offer quick response grants. Outside of our regular grants program, we do offer a number of other grants and opportunities.

Yes. Early career artists are eligible to apply for funding through Development Grants for Individuals and Groups and through Arts Projects for Individuals and Groups.

Yes. Organisations can propose a program of projects and/or activities. This could be an organisation’s full artistic program for a given calendar year or more, for example.

We encourage applicants to be mindful of the following considerations:

  • The activities should each contribute toward a clear, unifying overall objective –  for example,  the organisation’s artistic vision.  It is important to demonstrate the rationale for the inclusion of these activities and how the overall program will align with the organisation’s vision.
  • In proposing a program consisting of multiple projects or activities, it is possible that some individual projects may be less compelling than others. If you are submitting an application proposing multiple activities or projects, we encourage you to ensure that a similar level of consideration, planning, and artistic merit is common to each to avoid one component of your program potentially letting down the others.
  • You may wish to consider using one of the 3 URLs you can provide as support material to link to a document that provides more detail about each individual project or activity in your program.

As a national arts funding body, all Australia Council grant rounds are competitive. Success rates are usually between 15% and 20%.

Yes. Projects must have a start date that falls after we notify you of the outcome of your application, and no later than one year from that date. We will notify you of the outcome of your application approximately 12 weeks after the closing date.

You can have your application assessed by the multi-art form peer panel if your project involves multiple separate art form-specific activities. This could include, for example: a festival that incorporates music, literature and theatre, or a project that has no one specific arts practice focus.  However, if your project does involve more than one area of arts practice, you still have the option to choose one of the single art form panels, which you think will best relate to your work, to assess your application.

Our multi-art form assessment panels are made up of artists and arts workers from a range of art form areas. Peers may include those from specific art form areas (e.g. music or visual arts), peers who work across a number of art forms, and/or peers who work in interdisciplinary practice.

Community Arts and Cultural Development practice is a community-based arts practice and can engage any art form. There are many variations of how community arts and cultural development works are made, developed and shared, and as such, there is no one model. What is at the core of this practice, however, is the collaboration between professional artists and communities to create art. The activity must be undertaken by with and for the communities involved. The artists and arts working facilitating the project should be highly skilled in these processes, and the activities should reflect the energy and qualities of the community.

No. However, applications involving venues and partners are likely to be more competitive if their involvement is confirmed.

In this context, the term ‘emerging’, refers to emerging art forms, not artists who are at the emerging stage of their careers.

Emerging and experimental arts practice is characterised by the exploration of challenging new concepts in the creation and experience of arts and culture. It plays with or invents new forms, methodologies, technologies or explores non-material ideas.  These sometimes include art/science research collaborations, bio art, live art, socially engaged practices and new technologies. For more information about how we define Emerging and Experimental Arts read the EEA – Frequently Asked Questions at the bottom of this page.

If you’re unsure about which art form panel best fits with your project, we recommend you contact the Artists Services team to discuss further.

The Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Arts assessment panel consists entirely of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander industry professionals across art forms and across states and territories.

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander applicants are also welcome to apply to other art form assessment panels (for example visual arts, music and literature).

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 and using Skype. 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 speaking to an appropriate organisation for further assistance.

The best applications are those where the voice of the artist comes through. Where possible you, ‘the artist’, should write your application. Your manager may administer the grant on your behalf to undertake the financial and reporting requirements.

No. You can only submit one application to the round.

If you are applying as an unincorporated entity, unincorporated association or partnership you do not need to have an administrator for your grant. However, you must be able to provide an ABN and bank account that are in the group’s name. If you cannot do this you must nominate an administrator. For more information about this, please contact us.

All individual or organisation grant applicants based in Australia must have an active Australian Business Number (ABN). Individual applicants without an ABN may have their grant administered by an individual or organisation with an ABN. Organisations operating outside of Australia do not need an ABN to apply. Individuals based outside of Australia may not need an ABN to apply, depending on their circumstances (please check with your accountant or tax advisor).

Furthermore, the name of the applicant must match the name of the ABN and the name of the bank account into which we pay the funds. There are no exceptions to this rule. If you cannot provide an ABN and bank account that are in the same name as the applicant, you will need to nominate an administrator for your grant.

For more information about this, please contact us

Grants can be considered income by Centrelink. The amount is generally assessed as a lump sum and could affect your Centrelink payment for the financial year. Artists who are running a business (even on a small scale) may have their grant treated differently. It is possible to have your grant paid to an administering body if you wish.

Applicants should contact Centrelink on 13 28 50 for advice. Additionally, Centrelink’s Financial Information Service (FIS) is an education and information service available to everyone in the community and may be of benefit to applicants who also receive assistance through the social security system. To contact FIS phone 13 23 00.

Yes.  The Australia Council expects that artists professionally employed or engaged on Australia Council-funded activities will be remunerated for their work in line with industry standards. Payment of artist fees should be reflected in your application budget.

For more information, see our Payment of Artists page.

Our grants program is primarily designed to support projects that have a defined start and end date, rather than ongoing organisational administration costs. Project budgets that include a high proportion of administration costs may be less competitive. However, if you do need funding to cover administration costs directly related to the delivery of your project, you can include them in your grant request.

Grants paid by the Australia Council may be considered part of your income in a financial year and may be subject to tax. You must determine your own taxation liabilities. We suggest you consult your financial adviser or contact the Australian Taxation Office on 13 28 66.

No. The Australia Council encourages applicants whose projects will take place in regional and remote locations to budget accurately and realistically, as it is recognised that costs may differ between regions and major cities.

If you are GST-registered when you receive an Australia Council grant, the Australia Council will pay the grant amount plus GST. The budget provided in your application should be exclusive of GST.

Yes. The Australia Council recognises that funding may be required for access costs incurred by applicants with disability, or for costs associated with working with artists with disability – who may have particular access needs (e.g. use of an interpreter, translation services, specific technical equipment, support worker/carer assistance). Access costs are viewed as legitimate expenses and may be included in an applicant’s budget. The Australia Council encourages 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, captioning, audio description, temporary building adjustments, materials in other formats such as Braille or CD).

The application form calculates your grant request as the difference between your total cash income, and your total cash costs. The gap between these two numbers is the grant request. In-kind contributions are not included in this calculation.

Total cash costs – total cash income = grant request

For example –

$50,000 cash costs – $30,000 cash income = $20,000 Australia Council grant request.

Yes. The Australia Council recognises that childcare needs may impede access to employment in the arts. Accordingly, childcare is a legitimate expense to include in an applicant’s budget.

We encourage our applicants to seek funding from other sources to cover the complete costs of their projects. While it does depend on the size of your grant request to us, we would expect that applicants with large grant requests would also secure funding from elsewhere to cover all costs associated with a large scale project.

Yes. Out-of-pocket expenses such as telephone calls or petrol for travel, are recognised as legitimate expenses and may be included in an applicant’s budget.

Yes. In-kind support refers to resources, goods and services (for example, use of a venue, materials, and/or people’s time) provided by yourself or others either free of charge, or below market value. Detailing in-kind costs in the budget is important as it gives peers a full understanding of the viability of your project and levels of support you are receiving. In-kind costs are also an expense so, when you save your application, any in-kind income you included will auto-populate to the expenses side of the budget.

Emerging and Experimental Arts frequently asked questions

Artists working in experimental practice take new approaches to nurturing, creating and presenting art. These projects explore challenging new concepts in the creation and experience of art and culture. Emerging and experimental arts may sometimes be difficult for audiences to engage with and understand. Its processes often resemble those of research and development, experimentation and creative development. Artists funded by Emerging and Experimental Arts develop projects that generally have some of the following characteristics:

  • Highly conceptual, contextual, relative and relational – they address the question “what is experimental now?”
  • Play with or invent new forms, methodologies, technologies or non-material ideas
  • Investigating problems and asking questions without necessarily focusing on the answer. The process of exploration is more important than a fully resolved artistic product as the project outcome.
  • Innovative partnerships and collaborative / cross-disciplinary processes
  • Cross-over with broader cultural issues.

Applicants to this category must be able to demonstrate what is experimental about their own practice and project, and explain why this is experimental in their own context and the broader arts sector.

Your project doesn’t need to be interdisciplinary. Emerging and experimental arts activity is innovative in its methodology and often takes risks with processes and outcomes of the work, this can happen both within and across artforms and disciplines. We find the most competitive applications often involve innovative creative collaborations and partnerships – between artists, or artists collaborating with non-artists. New and experimental processes often emerge from an interdisciplinary collaboration or partnership.

Other artform sections of the Australia Council support applications for experimental projects within a single artform practice.

No, your project does not need to involve technology to be eligible or competitive for grants and initiatives from Emerging and Experimental Arts.

Projects may include Indigenous and intercultural collaborations, art and science, social engagement, community participation, artistic interventions into public spaces, artists working with urban renewal and ecology projects, and much more.

If technology forms a core part of your project, it is important to clearly articulate how and why it will be used. In all cases, the most competitive applications clearly communicate the innovative ideas and processes driving the experimental arts activity.

Community Arts and Cultural Development frequently asked questions

Community arts and cultural development is a community-based arts practice and can engage any art form. There are many variations of how community arts and cultural development works are made, developed and shared, and as such, there is no one model. What is at the core of this practice, however, is the collaboration between professional artists and communities to create art.

The Australia Council focuses its support for community arts and cultural development practice through a number of community priority areas which include regional Australia, disability, young people, cultural diversity, emerging communities, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and remote communities, as well as specific critical social and cultural issues requiring focused attention.

The guiding principles that inform and drive our funding decisions, priorities, projects, policies and programs include:

Activities are of artistic excellence and the communities are directly involved in their purpose, design, and evaluation.

This involves working within each community in ways that are meaningful and relevant. The collaborations that underpin the activity are inclusive, respectful and able to demonstrate that they are based on the needs and aspirations of all stakeholders.

The management of a project should demonstrate a blend of effective leadership and decision-making that engages the community at all stages of the process.

The proposal should be able to clearly set out how the activities will increase the capacity and skills of the communities and how this will lead to the communities being able to continue their artistic and cultural development after the completion of the project.

Artists, arts workers and producers should be able to demonstrate their excellence in artistic and cultural development practice. The arts workers need to be able to clearly explain the collaboration processes that will achieve excellence in the artistic expression of the communities’ vision.

Project leaders should be actively engaged in partner-building and be able to effectively manage, sustain and leverage partners for strategic and mutual advantage.

Proposals which capture the unique dynamic and energy of a community will be able to reflect a freshness of vision and design.

Activities ought to embrace the strong emotional and aesthetic elements of each community, and strive to assert the role of activities of artistic excellence in contributing to its vibrancy and well being.