Melbourne’s artists share $910,000 funding boost

Jessie LloydThe City of Melbourne has announced $910,000 in grants as part of its Annual Arts Grants Program, further strengthening Melbourne’s status as a world-class creative capital.

Sixty-seven artists and arts organisations will receive grants of up to $20,000 for arts projects to be delivered in 2017 after Council increased the funding pool by $95,000 based on the strength of applications received.

Arts and Culture Portfolio Chair Councillor Rohan Leppert said the Annual Arts Grants Program was one of the ways in which Council fosters local artistic talent. “To maintain Melbourne as one of the world’s great arts cities, Council is committed to supporting artists as they bring new and creative ideas to life,” said Councillor Leppert.

“We received almost 300 applications for the 2017 Annual Arts Grants Program, which demonstrates just how important this funding is for our artists as they seek to develop and deliver bold and exciting new projects. After a competitive process, we are delighted to provide $910,000 that will allow Melbourne’s arts scene to continue to thrive and give artists greater freedom to explore their creativity.”

This year’s recipients include:

  • The Australian Video Art Festival is an international biennial that showcases emerging trends in contemporary video art practice from national and international artists.
  • Multi-disciplinary artist Catherine Bell will collaborate with St Vincent’s Hospital and the Royal Australasian College of Surgeons to create artworks with medical professionals to open up dialogue on people’s ideas about death.
  • Melbourne Electronic Sound Studio Residency Program 2017 will give local artists, one emerging and one established, access to a new facility to create and record electronic music.
  • Jessie Lloyd’s Mission Songs Project seeks to revive a rare collection of early Australian Indigenous contemporary songs that focus on the missions, reserves and township fringes to which Indigenous people were relocated.
  • Illustrator Lewis Brownlie will use the Art and Heritage Collection Residency to produce a series of drawings that will form part of an online project.
  • Documentary maker Sarah Barton will produce Defiant Lives, a feature documentary about the history of the disability rights movement in Australia, the USA and UK.
  • Radiant Pavilion 2017 is a nine-day contemporary jewelry and craft event.

Following its successful debut this year, the Arts Residencies category returns for 2017 to provide artists with an opportunity to work within Council’s Art and Heritage Collection and Creative Spaces Program to develop and expand their practice in any art form.

“During previous consultation with artists, one of the key challenges that emerged was the lack of suitable and affordable space,” said Councillor Leppert. “Through the Arts Residencies funding and Council’s new Melbourne Arts Infrastructure Framework, we are finding innovative ways to provide artists with the facilities they need to work and create in the city.”

The Annual Arts Grants Program is underpinned by the City of Melbourne’s commitment to support artists, as outlined under the Funding theme in the City of Melbourne Arts Strategy 2014-17. All applications are assessed by an external advisory panel and endorsed by the City of Melbourne.

For more information, visit: for details.

Image: Jessie Lloyd