Maximising your relationship with Council

Local government is a key source of arts funding for many; here are some tips on optimising such relationships.

Drowning in red tape doesn’t have to be the outcome when working with Council. Image via Shutterstock

While state and federal governments are key sources of funding for the arts sector, the role of local government – from key players like the Cities of Melbourne and Sydney to smaller regional Councils – should not be overlooked. 

But while many local Councils have an arts budget, artists are sometimes wary of applying for such funding sources in light of assumptions around process, priorities and strictures such as red tape and bureaucracy.  

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Richard Watts is ArtsHub's National Performing Arts Editor; he also presents the weekly program SmartArts on Three Triple R FM, and serves as the Chair of La Mama Theatre's volunteer Committee of Management. Richard is a life member of the Melbourne Queer Film Festival, and was awarded the status of Melbourne Fringe Living Legend in 2017. In 2020 he was awarded the Sidney Myer Performing Arts Awards' Facilitator's Prize. Most recently, Richard was presented with a Lifetime Achievement Award by the Green Room Awards Association in June 2021. Follow him on Twitter: @richardthewatts