Australia Council delivers $7.2 million for 270 arts projects

One Fell Swoop Circus - photo by Aaron Walker AC editorialThe Australia Council for the Arts has announced more than $7 million to support 270 projects delivered by individuals, groups and small-to-medium organisations through the first of three grant rounds for 2017.

The $7.2 million announced today includes $2.7 million to support projects by 158 individual artists; $0.9 million to support 36 groups of artists; and $3.6 million to support 76 arts organisations. Last week the Australia Council also announced $3.2 million in funding which has been invested through Playing Australia ($2.0 million); Contemporary Touring Initiative ($577,000); Visual Arts and Craft Strategy-individuals ($445,000); and Contemporary Music Touring Program ($190,000).

Australia Council CEO Tony Grybowski said this grant round was highly competitive and that he was pleased to see the new model continuing to support such a diverse range of activity and attracting a large number of new applicants.

“The Council’s grants program supports all facets of the creative process, enabling Australian artists to undertake professional development, create new work through individual and collaborative processes, and present their work to audiences in all parts of Australia and across the globe,” said Mr Grybowski.

“The findings of the Council’s third National Arts Participation Survey will be released in late June and they tell a compelling story about the role of the arts in the lives of Australians, one that reinforces the importance of this type of investment.”

Australia Council analysis of the February grant round reveals that:
• 21% of funding was awarded to applicants in regional and remote areas;
• 39% of the successful applicants had an international component to their project;
• 33% of successful applicants to the Arts Projects programs nominated audience engagement and access and participation in the arts as the primary outcomes of their project;
• 115 peers assessed this round, including 22% from regional and remote areas; and
• 15% of the peer assessors identified as being culturally and linguistically diverse and 19% identified as being Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander people.

Two years after its launch the new grants model continues to deliver increased accessibility and flexibility, with new applicants making up 32% of the February grant round, and one in five successful applications coming from first time applicants.

Applications are assessed against one of four criteria which align with the Australia Council’s strategic goals. The applicant chooses which criteria best reflects the primary outcome of their project: creation of new work; audience engagement; access to and participation in the arts; and international profile of Australian arts.

A list of successful grant recipients is now available. The next grant round closes on 6 June for projects starting after 1 September 2017. For more information, visit: www.australiacouncil.gov.au for details.

Image: One Fell Swoop Circus – photo by Aaron Walker

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