City of Melbourne

ArtPlay New Ideas Lab 2020-21

ArtPlay New Ideas Lab supports proposals of new work between $10,000 to $20,000 (artists’ fee together with consumable materials and specialist equipment).  

We encourage new ideas from artists of all disciplines for creative projects where children and/or families will be the co-creators of work responding to the provocation of ‘climate emergency’. A new idea means a brand new work. 

Artists do not necessarily need experience in working with children but a passion and enthusiasm for involving children in the creative process is essential. 

Your proposed development workshops and project outcome must take place at ArtPlay. In either one or a combination of the ArtPlay spaces – the multi-purpose space on ground level 16,000 mm x 8500 mm, ideal for interactive performances and workshops, the mezzanine - situated upstairs overlooking the multi-purpose space, 21,640 mm x 6420 mm and/or ArtPlay’s outdoor precinct. Please specify where you imagine your project taking place in your application. 

We will assess all ideas put forward based on merit, however, we encourage artists to consider putting forward proposals that target babies and children under 2 years.

The initial application process is easy - tell us about your idea and complete a budget outlining fees and materials required. If you have limited to no experience in working with children and/or if you are an emerging artist you will need to budget for a mentor.  

If you are short-listed, you will have the opportunity to pitch your ideas to a panel that includes children, artists and ArtPlay staff – new pitching arrangements to be announced. The panel’s job is to assess the idea based on the criteria detailed below and, if you are successful, the ArtPlay team will partner with you to realise your project as a part of ArtPlay’s public program. Being part of ArtPlay’s public program means you will be developing your project with ArtPlay audiences.

Your proposal will be assessed on the following criteria:

  • a brand new work actively engaging children and/or families as co-creators
  • responds to the provocation ‘climate emergency’
  • features environmentally sustainable practices
  • well-articulated concept (including envisaged outcomes)
  • original and high quality with potential for future presentation
  • a feasible budget (please consider from the start if your work needs a mentor/producer/production manager, stage manager etc.) 
  • allows time for planning, self-reflection and evaluation (ensure you are realistic with what you propose).

ArtPlay’s New Ideas Lab program supports artists and children to work together to develop new arts experiences for children and families. In order to facilitate and focus on this, each project will go through three stages of development ‘Dreaming,’ ‘Making’ and ‘Showing’. There must be a minimum of two workshops in each stage where creative input from children is sought. 

As a guide, we require the participation of approximately one child per $100 of budget (or a score of 1:$100).

Please refer to past and current EOI projects to see examples of the type of work ArtPlay has previously supported.

Applications close
03 Apr 2020
Amount Upon Application
All artforms
Grant Type
New work
Applicant Type
City of Melbourne (opens in new window)