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Australia Council for the Arts

Arts Projects – Organisations

Key dates

The Australia Council offers three grant rounds each year for this category.

In 2019, the grant rounds will close on:

  • Tuesday 5 February for projects starting after 1 May 2019. 
  • Tuesday 4 June for projects starting after 1 September 2019.
  • Tuesday 1 October for projects starting after 1 January 2020.

Each round closes at midnight AEST on the closing date.

Technical and administrative support will not be available after 5pm on the closing date.

Applicants will be notified of the outcome of their application approximately 12 weeks after the closing date.


About the program

Our Arts Projects program funds a range of activities that deliver benefits to the arts sector and wider public, including national and international audiences. Organisations that undertake arts programs, projects or that provide services to artists are welcome to apply. Grants are available from $10,000 to $100,000. Supported activities must last no longer than 2 years from the proposed start date.

Please read through the following grant guidelines. If you need help with your application, contact a Grants Officer now.

Who can apply

Only organisations may apply to this category. Organisations that provide a service to the arts are welcome to apply. International organisations can apply for projects that benefit practicing Australian artists or their work.

Applications for funding to the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander panel must come from Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander organisations.

Who can’t 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 have already made three applications to categories listed under Australia Council Grant Programs this calendar year (funding proposals submitted to categories under Other Grants and Opportunities are not counted as one of your three applications)
  • you are a Major Performing Arts organisation

Four Year Funding for Organisations applicants and recipients

  • If you are an organisation applying for Four Year Funding in 2019, please be aware that this application will count as one of your applications to the Australia Council grants program for the 2019 calendar year.
  • If you are an organisation currently receiving Four Year Funding, please be aware that you can make only one application to the Australia Council grants program per calendar year.

We fund a range of activities, for example:

  • the creation of new work
  • arts practice based research
  • creative development
  • professional skills development
  • experimentation
  • collaborations
  • touring
  • festivals
  • productions
  • exhibitions
  • performances
  • publishing
  • recording
  • services to develop the arts sector
  • promotion and marketing
  • market development activity.

What can’t be applied for

You can’t apply for the following activity:

  • projects or activities that do not involve or benefit practicing artists or arts workers
  • projects or activities that do not have a clearly defined arts component
  • projects that have already taken place.

Peer assessment

As part of the application process, you will be able to choose which peer panel you want to assess your application.  The peer panels available are:

  • Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Arts
  • Community Arts and Cultural Development
  • Dance
  • Emerging and Experimental Arts
  • Literature
  • Multi-art form
  • Music
  • Theatre
  • Visual Arts

If you are unsure which peer panel to choose to assess your application, please contact a Grants Officer now.

Assessment criteria

You must address three assessment criteria in this category. For some criteria, you will be asked to choose between two or more options.

Under each criterion are bullet points indicating what peers may consider when assessing your application. You do not need to respond to every bullet point listed.

First criterion

You must choose one of the following two options:

Artistic merit

Peers will assess the artistic merit of the work or works at the centre of your proposal.

They may consider: 

  • vision, ideas and artistic rationale
  • level of innovation, ambition, experimentation or risk-taking
  • rigour and clear articulation of creative process
  • significance of the work within area of practice
  • contribution to diverse cultural expression
  • timeliness and relevance of work
  • quality of previous work
  • responses to previous work from peers or the public.


Quality of services to the arts

Peers will assess the quality of services at the centre of your proposal.

They may consider:

  • impact, including diversity of participants and breadth and quality of engagement
  • capacity-building potential, including contribution to sustainable arts practice
  • skills and professional development opportunities for artists and arts professionals
  • potential to improve advocacy and access
  • level of community engagement, partnerships and collaborations
  • responsiveness to identified need or demand
  • innovative improvement of existing frameworks.

Second criterion

You must address:


Peers will assess the viability of your proposal.

They may consider:

  • capacity to deliver the project or program
  • relevance and timeliness of proposed activity
  • skills and ability of artists/arts professionals involved, and relevance to activity
  • realistic planning, effective use of resources, and meaningful evaluation
  • appropriate payments to participating artists
  • governance arrangements
  • role of partners, including confirmation of involvement
  • diversity and scale of income and co-funding, including earned income, grants, sponsorship and in-kind contributions
  • adherence to relevant cultural protocols
  • evidence of considered consultation and engagement with participants, audiences and communities.

Third criterion

The third criterion tells us how your proposal may meet one of the aims in our Strategic Plan to support the arts in Australia. When responding to this criterion, you must choose one of four options that best reflects the primary outcome of your proposal:


Peers will assess your contribution to the creation of new work.

They may consider how the proposed activity:

  • develops or extends your area of creative practice
  • contributes to diverse artistic practice
  • builds or develops national or international collaborations
  • creates opportunities in the relevant arts practice area
  • creates opportunities for the artists involved
  • where relevant, engages young people in the creation of work.

For more information, click here.

Applications close
01 Oct 2019
Up to $100,000
Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander arts
Arts organisation
Experimental arts
Performing Arts
Public art
Visual arts
Writing & Publishing
Grant Type
Artists with Disability
Audience development
Community Partnership
Early Career Artists
Major Project
Market development
New work
Presentation & Promotion
Applicant Type
Australia Council for the Arts (opens in new window)
Grants Officer
02 9215 9000