Cashed-down Australian Council revises grants program
Stripped of millions of dollars in the 2015-16 Federal Budget, the Australia Council for the Arts has announced changes to its grants program. There are reductions in the number of rounds, and some changes to eligibility criteria.
Its CEO Tony Grybowski stated, “The Board and Executive have carefully considered how we can provide the most effective support to Australian artists and arts organisations within the framework of the Council’s legislative functions and Strategic Plan goals.
“The revised funding model has been developed in response to the budget measures and with the intention of providing support for the arts which is complementary to the National Programme for Excellence in the Arts.”
An investment of $12 million will be made over the two core grants rounds in 2015-16.
The Council said, “The 2015-16 financial year activities should be considered as a transition year, with a number of existing contractual obligations still in place. This includes the $22.4 million commitment to existing Key Organisations to the end of 2016.”
The two grants rounds in 2015-16 have deadlines in September 2015 and February 2016. The planned one for December 2015 is cancelled.
The September round includes development grants and arts projects for individuals and groups, arts projects for organisations, Fellowships (8 offered annually), Playing Australia and the Contemporary Music Touring Program.
The February round includes all the above except the Fellowships but includes dedicated funding for artists with disability.
Playing Australia will be offered with a December 1, 2015 closing date.
International Residencies will continue to be offered annually. Applications close December 1, 2015.
In other changes, the Six-Year Funding for Organisations program is replaced with a Four-Year funding model. Organisations will only need to submit one application by the December 1, 2015 deadline. Decisions will be announced in April 2016, with funding to commence in January 2017.
Three core grant rounds in 2016-17 with closing dates in June 2016, October 2016 and February 2017.
A new Corporate Plan will be published on August 31 to provide further details about the Council’s national and international development activity (including market and audience development initiatives), Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander arts support, research and sector capacity building.