The Australia Council for the Arts has announced $10.4 million of investment in Australian arts through its September grants round. Australia Council Chief Executive Officer Tony Grybowski said this grant round had received a strong response with almost 1,700 applications.
“The 290 projects funded across all areas of practice will support an impressive and diverse range of work by individual artists, groups and small to medium arts organisations from across the country,” said Mr Grybowski. “The projects include innovative collaborations, ground breaking ideas, incorporation of science and technology, and capacity building for emerging artists.”
“Australia’s international profile and artists and audiences in regional Australia will particularly benefit from this investment. Almost half the projects we have supported have an international component, developing valuable relationships, markets and audiences for Australian artists in 46 countries. In the last three years we have tracked an increase in artists applying to work on projects in Asia. This is reflected in this funding round, with activity in 19 countries in the Asia Pacific region.
“Nearly a quarter of the successful applicants are based in regional or remote areas, and almost a third of all projects have a regional component. This is important in ensuring that regional audiences benefit from stories told by their own communities, as well as increasing access to work toured between metropolitan and regional areas.
“Our new grants model allows deeper analysis of the impact of our investment. We are encouraged to note that in this round each project funded involves, on average, an additional five artists. The flexible and responsive nature of our new grants program continues to increase access to new artists, groups and organisations, with 13 per cent of successful applicants in this round having never applied to the Australia Council before. This builds on the 20 per cent of first time applicants in the first round of the new program in March.”
The Australia Council’s peer assessment process ensures that grants are assessed by experts in the relevant areas of practice. The 115 peers involved in this funding round represented all states and territories and all arts practices. The Council’s enhanced peer assessment process draws from a much larger and more diverse pool of experts.
In this round 25 per cent of peers were from regional or remote areas, 16 per cent identified as being Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander people, and 19 per cent from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds. The $10.4 million investment includes $3.7 million to 166 projects by individual artists, $1 million to 39 group projects, and $5.7 million to support 85 projects by small to medium arts organisations.
Prior to the partial return of funding last month, $6 million was available for this grant round. The Council is now able to invest $19 million across the two core grant rounds during 2015-16. To view the successful recipients from the September grant round, click here.
Applications are now open for the next grants round, which closes on 2 February 2016. For more information go to: www.australiacouncil.gov.au for details.
Image: Powerhouse Youth Theatre 1001 Nights in Fairfield – photo by Jadranko Marjanovic