Fresh hope: Funding updates from Australia Council

When consolidated into a single list, the Australia Council’s portfolio of grant opportunities for individuals and organisations offers a path through the din.

In a formal statement this week, the Australia Council for the Arts said that, ‘we have never lost sight of the enormous public value of the arts for all Australians.’

In response to COVID-19 the Australia Council suspended its regular funding opportunities to deliver the Resilience Fund.

Before the Resilience Fund closed, it attracted extremely high numbers of applications so the the assessment and notification times have been revised for what the Council called ‘technical reasons.

‘It is important that we resume our programs and strive to enable creativity to continue to connect us in recovery and in the future it will be essential for Australia’s recovery,’ said the Council. ‘We are working at speed to re-open as many suspended programs as possible to contribute to this recovery and roll out new responsive initiatives.’

This week they announced they would resume the following funding programs for individual and organisations:

  • Arts Projects for Individuals & Groups  
  • Arts Projects for Organisations   
  • Australia Council Fellowships & Awards  
  • National Arts & Disability Awards  
  • Projects that have been previously eligible via the Career Development for Individuals and Groups category will now be eligible for support under the Arts Projects for Individuals Groups category. Applications for these opportunities open Friday 10 July and close Tuesday 1 September.

    The Council has also made the following opportunities available for First Nations individuals, groups and organisations. A second iteration of the Cherish Fund – Cherish II – will roll out with applications open Monday 3 August and closing Tuesday 6 October.

    • Dreaming Award for an emerging artist
    • Red Ochre Awards for outstanding lifetime achievement
    • Workplace Giving Emerging First Nations Career Development Award

    All open from Tuesday 1 September and closing Tuesday 1 December.

    Applications for the touring and mobility opportunities – Playing Australia and Contemporary Music Touring Program – open on 15 August and close  applications opening 15 August and closing in October. The exact date is not specified.

    Literary translation opportunities will be offered via the Literature Structural Investment Fund Translation Fund, with applications opening 10 July and closing on Tuesday 24 November. Due to current restrictions on international travel, the Rights Travel Funds of this strategic initiative for literature have been suspended but may be re-opened if and as restrictions ease.

    The Council reminded that given the travel restrictions still in place with COVID-19 the following programs are not currently available:

    • International Arts Strategy Outcomes Fund 
    • International Residencies Program 
    • Support to attend international markets and platforms

    Artists and organisations seeking funding for international engagement are encouraged to apply to the Grants Program through the project categories in September 2020 and subsequent rounds in 2021.

    The Council concluded: We acknowledge that forward planning is essential but difficult under current circumstances.

    Program guidelines and criteria for all funding streams and grants are available on the Council website.

    Gina Fairley is ArtsHub's National Visual Arts Editor. For a decade she worked as a freelance writer and curator across Southeast Asia and was previously the Regional Contributing Editor for Hong Kong based magazines Asian Art News and World Sculpture News. Prior to writing she worked as an arts manager in America and Australia for 14 years, including the regional gallery, biennale and commercial sectors. She is based in Mittagong, regional NSW. Twitter: @ginafairley Instagram: fairleygina