Australia Council invests in $7.6 million in arts and artists

slingsby-the-young-king-andy-ellisThe Australia Council for the Arts has announced $5.7 million investment in 177 projects to be delivered by Australia’s individual artists, groups and small to medium arts organisations through its June grants round; along with $640,000 through the annual Australia Council Fellowships program; $343,772 through Visual Arts and Craft Strategy (VACS) individual grants; and $929,928 through Playing Australia national regional touring grants.

Chief Executive Officer Tony Grybowski said that while this round was highly competitive, there continues to be an impressive level of diversity, innovation and collaboration supported through its grant programs.

“Almost 1,200 applications were received for the June round from small to medium arts organisations, and individuals and groups. Consistently strong and highly contested, 177 projects will be funded through the fourth round of the revised grants model,” said Mr Grybowski.

“I continue to be inspired by the diversity and depth of artistic quality and cultural ambition across the applications which reflects the strength and vibrancy of the arts across all of Australia. Of successful applicants to arts projects, 30% nominated audience engagement and access to and participation in the arts as their key project outcomes. The Australia Council is committed to supporting opportunities for Australians to access and participate in the arts as consumers or creators.

“Positive trends continue with the increased number of new applicants to the Australia Council grants model, and of those, an increased number of new successful applicants. The new grants model was designed to be more accessible and flexible in response to feedback from the sector. These results continue to build on previous grant rounds.”

Eight of Australia’s most accomplished artists working across diverse art forms have been recognised with prestigious Australia Council Fellowships: Lisa Maza (Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Arts); Rebecca Reid (Community Arts and Cultural Development); Brooke Stamp (Dance); Sarah Jane Pell (Emerging and Experimental Arts); Julia Leigh (Literature); Sandy Evans (Music); Katerina Kokkinos-Kennedy (Theatre); and Danie Mellor (Visual Arts).

Some of the successful new applicants in the June round include Natasha Phillips through Community Arts and Cultural Development for her China AUS Arts project, aimed at strengthening cultural literacy and investigating creative exchanges between Australia and China within the independent contemporary arts.

Earlier this year, the ARIA Award winning band The Jezabels released their third studio album, Synthia, to excellent reviews and a number four spot on the Australian chart. The band has received funding to support their North American tour later this year, further building the momentum of exceptional international success currently enjoyed by a high number of Australian contemporary music artists.

In the Emerging and Experimental Arts space, Tammy Brennan, Josh Harle and PACT Centre for Emerging Artists will all receive funding across a variety of projects that use cross-disciplinary processes and forms. New Landscapes Institute will receive $50K for The Long Paddock – an expanded public program and design and construction of The Plant. This is an experimental and multi-disciplinary project exploring Australia’s Travelling Stock Routes. 12 artists, architects and designers have developed work which explore the historical, environmental and cultural significance of these pathways.

Express Media have been funded to deliver a national program to support young writers. Tracks: a pop-up program for young writers, will bring the best of Express Media’s workshops, networking opportunities and showcase events to five locations across Australia.

Slingsby Theatre Company, Arena Theatre Company, Brink Productions and Gravity and other myths will each receive funding across a variety of projects that engage young people, create theatrical installations and develop future touring opportunities.

To view the complete list of recipients, visit: Applications are now open for the next grants round – which closes on 4 October 2016. For more information go to: for details.

Image: Slingsby Theatre Company’s production of The Young King – photo by Andy Ellis