34 opportunities in the arts to kickstart 2017

Get a head start this year by applying for one of these new year residencies, professional development, or funding opportunities.
34 opportunities in the arts to kickstart 2017

James Geurts, 2015. Aperture 1: Shallow Inlet. Resurveying Site, Waratah Bay. Site and time-specific light installation. Regional Arts Victoria Fund 2015. Geurts is the Current Georges More Fellow.

ArtsHub has brought 34 opportunities that are open for applications within the first three months of 2017 into one place. Opportunities are listed by art form, but we have also included those that are cross-media at the end. Good luck!

Performing arts

1. Take Over! 


Arts Centre Melbourne and Melbourne Fringe invite independent artists to develop and present a new performance work for 2017 Melbourne Fringe Festival. The successful artist/company will receive $30,000 seed funding to develop the work in time for final rehearsal and presentation week in Melbourne Fringe 2017.

Submissions due January 9.

More information here

2. Water Futures

Water Futures is an interdisciplinary laboratory that will examine one of our most precious resources and how we will access it in future. Described as ‘part workshop, part forum’, the two-day event brings together artists, scientists, activists and cultural leaders to generate new projects that address the issue of water conservation. Ten steward organisations and institutions from across Australia and the Asia Pacific will select one or more of the resulting projects to take to the next stage of development.

On from 24-25 February.

More information here

3. Playwriting Australia New Play Development

There are a few development programs on offer at Playwriting Australia, but the applications work in a way where you describe where you’re at and what you need to move forward and then PWA match you with the program that best suits.

Round 1 applications are now open. Play Development Submissions close on the 23 of January and submissions for the PWA Lab close on the 27 February.

More information here

4. Sydney Theatre Company's Rough Drafts

Rough Draft developments are offered to theatre makers who have a proven track record and a new project that needs floor time for development. If you are a practising theatre artist wishing to be considered for a development STC ask you to first invite them to see your work. If it is likely STC already know your work, send an email to artisticteam@sydneytheatre.com.au with the subject title ROUGH DRAFTS and a short paragraph outlining the project and explaining why it needs a creative development.

You will receive an email acknowledging your submission and if your project is appropriate for the program you may receive follow up correspondence from a member of the Artistic Team.

More information here

5. APRA AMCOS Art Music Fund

For the second year, APRA AMCOS is offering $100k of grants to Australian and New Zealand composers for the creation of new, commissioned work. This fund supports a wide range of music styles including: notated composition; electroacoustic music; improvised music (including innovative, original jazz); sound art; installation sound; multimedia, web and film sound and music; and theatrical, operatic and choreographed music. Plus in 2016 45% of funding went to women!

Applications close 21 February.

More information here

Writing and publishing

1. Nakata Brophy Short Fiction and Poetry Prize for Young Indigenous Writers

In 2017 the Nakata Brophy Prize will be awarded to the best short story (up to 3000 words in length) by an Indigenous writer who is 30 years or younger. First place is a $5000 prize, publication in Overland’s print magazine, and a three-month residency at Trinity College, University of Melbourne.

Entries now open and will close on the 31 January.

More information here

2. The Scribe Nonfiction Prize for Young Writers

Entries for the Scribe Nonfiction Prize open in March. The winner will receive a cash prize of $3000, an editorial mentorship to develop their work for publication, and new-release books from Scribe. Shortlisted writers also receive personalised feedback on their entry, a Scribe book pack, an invitation to an exclusive craft development masterclass with nonfiction authors Tom Doig andMelanie Joosten, and the opportunity to attend Scribe’s 40th birthday party.

Entries close 11.59pm Sunday 10 July.

More information here

3. 2017 Kat Muscat Fellowship

The Kat Muscat Fellowship offers support and development to a young writer or editor to work on a project. Applicants must be female-identifying (including cis and trans women) or non-binary and aged 16 to 30 at the commencement of the fellowship.

Applications close 11.59pm 15 January.

More information here

4. Newcastle Short Story Award

The Newcastle Short Story Award is open to all Australians (not just those in Newcastle). First prize $3000, second prize $1500 and third prize $500. Shortlisted stories will be published in the 2017 anthology.

Entries close 8pm EST Monday 6 February.

More information here

5. 2017 Calibre Essay Prize

The Calibre Essay Prize is now worth a total of $7,500. It is open to anyone in the world writing in English for essays of between 3,000 and 7,000 words. The first prize is $5,000 with a supplementary prize of $2,500.

Entries are now open and close 15 March.

More information here

6. ABR Gender Fellowship

Australian Book Review are seeking proposals for a substantial article on gender in contemporary Australian creative writing in all its forms. The Fellow will receive $3,000 on commencement and $4,500 on publication of the non-fiction article they complete during the fellowship.

Applications close 1 February.

More information here

7. The Monthly Catch at Penguin

Do you have a manuscript you would like Penguin to consider? Penguin Group have what’s known as the ‘Monthly Catch’. During the first week of every month, you can submit unsolicited manuscripts for their consideration.

More information here

8. Tenth Annual Text Prize

Submissions for the tenth annual 2017 Text Prize for Young Adult and Children’s Writing are currently open. The Text Prize aims to discover incredible new books for young adults and children by Australian and New Zealand writers.

Submission due 3 February.

More information here

Visual Arts

1. Artist in Residence Exchange Program

Fremantle Arts Centre recently announced a new partnership with Art Ichol (in India) that will see Western Australian and Indian artists engage in an Artist in Residence Exchange Program. Through the program, Fremantle Arts Centre will select one WA artist to travel to the rural city of Maihar in Madhya Pradesh, India to live and work at Art Ichol during September 2017.

Applications close 24 February.

More information here

2. NSW Artists’ Grant 

NAVA’s NSW Artists’ Grant assist professional visual and media arts, craft and design practitioners residing in NSW to produce, present and promote their work throughout NSW, interstate and overseas. Artists residing in regional NSW and Western Sydney are encouraged to apply. Individual applicants are eligible to apply for funding of up to $1,250. Group applications are eligible to apply for funding of up to $2,500.

Applications for the current round close 21 January. 

More information here

3. Muswellbrook Art Prize

The Muswellbrook Art Prize has three competition categories:

  1. Painting – Acquisitive prize $50,000
  2. Works on Paper (excluding photography) – Acquisitive prize $10,000
  3. Ceramics – Acquisitive prize $10,000

Entries Close 27 January.

More information here

4. Georges Mora Fellowship

The Georges Mora Fellowship gives one contemporary artist the opportunity to study, experiment and explore fresh thinking in their art.

The recipient is awarded $10,000 for up to 12 months' research and given the means and uninterrupted time to work closely with the rich resources of the State Library, including access to a private study within the Library, which can be used outside normal opening hours.

Applications typically open in February and close in April but exact dates are forthcoming.

More information here

5. Patron’s Arts Writer’s Award

The South Australian Livings Artists (SALA) Festival new Patron’s Arts Writer’s Award is open to all arts writers living anywhere in the world. Eligible work must have been written within a 12 month period, from August 2016 - August 2017. The award aims to support scholarship and encourage writing about living South Australian artists.

The recipient of the award will receive a residential studio space for one month at Phasmid Studios, Berlin including return economy flights. Nominations are restricted to writing about living South Australian artists.

More information here

6. NSW Young Regional Artist Scholarships

The NSW State Government is offering 15 scholarships for young, regional artists and cultural workers to undertake exciting and career-making professional development opportunities. Scholarships are worth $10,000 and include a professional development networking program which takes place in Sydney in late 2017.

Applications are currently open and close on 20 February.

More information here

7. Telstra National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Art Awards      

Entries for the 2017 NATSIAA are now open. The Telstra Art Award of $50,000 is awarded to the work considered by judges to be the most outstanding work across all categories. The Telstra Emerging Artist Award of $5,000 is awarded from any category to an artist working within their first five years of practice who has not exhibited in a major institution.

Prizes of $5,000 each are awarded in each of the following categories: 

  1. Telstra Bark Painting Award
  2. Telstra General Painting Award
  3. Telstra Works on Paper Award
  4. Wandjuk Marika Memorial Three-Dimensional Award (sponsored by Telstra)
  5. Telstra Multimedia Award

Entries close Friday 17 March.

More information here

8. Emerging Curator Program

 Applications are now open for the Emerging Curator Program at Craft Victoria. Expressions of Interest are accepted from Victorian-based emerging curators (in the first 5 years of career) to oversee the curatorial management of the emerging maker exhibitions that will run from 22 April to 27 May, 2017.

Applications close Friday 20 January.

More information here

9. Emerging Maker Program

Expressions of Interest are now open for emerging makers (in the first 5 years of career) to exhibit in either Gallery 1 or Gallery 2 for exhibition dates: 22 April –27 May at Craft Victoria. Applications are accepted from artists Australia wide.

Applications close Friday 20 January.

More information here

10. Footscray Art Prize

The Footscray Art Prize is a biennial non-acquisitive visual art prize for contemporary artworks across multiple platforms and disciplines. The Footscray Art Prize has four categories:

  1. Footscray Art Prize (Main Prize) $10,000
  2. Street Art Prize $5,000
  3. Tertiary Art Prize $1,500
  4. Young Artists Prize
    12 years and under: $500
    13 - 18 years: $500

More information here

Any art form

1. Testing Grounds Buying Time Residencies

This new residency project will provide a studio and stipend to each of four nominated and selected creative practitioners. The stipend is $25 an hour with a minimum commitment of 20 studio hours per week for three weeks. Residents are selected by peer-to-peer nomination and industry professionals are invited to nominate a creative practitioner. The purpose of peer-to-peer nomination is to foster an attitude of encouragement and generosity within the industry.

Residency nominations are welcome any time. Residencies will occur throughout 2017 in the clear box at Testing Grounds.

More information here

2. Helpmann Fellowships

Valued at up to $20,000 each, two Helpmann Fellowships are available to final year students and recent graduates (within five years) from the Helpmann Academy partner institutions, to undertake a substantial professional development program.

Applications close 24 February.

More information here

3. Regional Arts Victoria Community Grants

Round 1 of the 2017 Regional Arts Fund will open on Monday 9 January and will close on Tuesday 14 March.

Community Grants are available in the following categories:

Cultural Projects & Skills Development (Up to $15,000)

Toe in the Water (Up to $6,000 for first time applicants)

More information here

4. Regional Arts Fund Quick Response Grant

The Quick Response Grant program has been set up to be responsive to exceptional cultural opportunities that may be on offer to artists or community groups. These grants are available throughout the year and applications can be submitted any time between 3 to 12 weeks prior to the activity commencing.

Organisations can apply for up to $3,000 for small-scale cultural development and arts initatives. Organisations must be incorporated and not-for-profit.

Individuals can apply for up to $1,500 for for professional or skills development of small scale project opportunities.

More information here

5. VicArts Grants

The VicArts Grants program is for Victoria's professional artists (emerging or established) and smaller arts companies. Applicants can apply for $5,000 - $75,000, but artist’s working alone on solo projects can only apply for up to $20,000.

Applications close 23 February for activities commencing after 1 June 2017.

More information here

6. Regional Development and Touring

The next Touring Victoria Funding Round will be accepting applications online using the Creative Victoria Grants Portal, from Monday 9 January. There is no limit to the level of grant, but if you intend to apply for more than $25,000 you need to discuss tours withTouring Victoria staff prior to the closing dates.

Applications close 8 February.

More information here

7. SAHMRI/ SALA Artist-in-Residence Program

South Australian artists or groups of artists are invited to apply for the SAHMRI/SALA Artist in residence program. The residency runs for up to six months and proposals must include an outcome of new works inspired by South Australian Health & Medical Research Institute (SAHMRI) activities and is suitable for display at SAHMRI during the SALA Festival in August 2017.

SAHMRI research themes:
• Aboriginal Health
• Cancer
• Healthy Mothers, Babies & Children
• Heart Health
• Infection & Immunity
• Mind & Brain
• Nutrition and Metabolism

Applications close Friday 20 January 2017.

More information here 

8. State Library of Victoria Creative Fellowships

The Library's Creative Fellowship program provides artists and scholars with a unique and supportive environment in which to immerse themselves in the library’s collections. Applicants may be individuals or be working in collaborative partnerships. They may include artists practising in any art form – such as the visual arts, new media, dance, musical performance or composition – and writers and scholars in any discipline or subject. Fellows receive a grant of $12,500 for three months' research, space in a shared office that is accessible outside normal Library hours, and special access to collections and staff expertise.

Applications open on 27 January and close on 23 April.

More information here

9. The Tasmanian Residencies Program

The Tasmanian Residencies program supports individual artists, partnerships and collaborations working in any artform to undertake residencies at a variety of locations across Tasmania. There are two categories of investment available for artists under this program:

  • Dombrovskis Parks and Wildlife residencies – for investment towards residencies at unique wilderness locations across Tasmania   
  • Historic and Cultural residencies – for investment towards residencies at historic and cultural sites across Tasmania   

Applications close 1 March.

More information here

10. Australia Council Career Development Grants for Individuals

If you are an individual artist, arts worker or group of artists, a Career Development Grant can provide support to further develop your skills or improve your capacity to build an enduring career in the arts. Career Development grants are available from $5,000 to $25,000.

The Australia Council offers three grant rounds each year for this category. In 2017, the first grant round will close on 7 February for projects starting after 1 May.

More information here

11. Australia Council Arts Projects for Individuals and Groups

The arts projects program funds a range of activities that deliver benefits to the arts sector and wider public, including national and international audiences. Examples of activities this grant supports include the creation of new work, creative development, touring, festivals, productions, exhibitions, publishing, recording and market development activity.

The Australia Council offers three grant rounds each year for this category. In 2017, the first grant round will close on 7 February for projects starting after 1 May.

More information here

Brooke Boland

Friday 6 January, 2017

About the author

Brooke Boland is a freelance writer based on the South Coast of NSW. She has a PhD in literature from the University of NSW. You can find her on Instagram @southcoastwriter.