Regional and remote arts touring projects receive a $2.8 million boost

AAR Australian Money Notes 450The Australia Council for the Arts has announced more than $2.8 million from the February Grant round for three arts touring programs: Playing Australia, Contemporary Music Touring Program and Contemporary Touring Initiative – all with a significant focus on touring in regional and remote areas.

CEO of the Australia Council Tony Grybowski said the Council has a strong commitment to supporting artists and developing audiences, particularly in regional areas, and believes that every Australian should be able to access the arts.

“These three programs, with a focus on performing arts, music, and visual arts and craft, will receive more than $2.8 million to support emerging and established artists tour regional and remote Australia,” said Mr Grybowski. “Arts touring programs are central to strengthening connections with local audiences and increasing access to the transformative power of art. This support is also critical to a sustainable, diverse and vibrant national arts ecology.”

The details of these three Government programs administered by the Australia Council for the Arts are:

Playing Australia: Regional Performing Arts Touring Fund – more than $2 million will support eight organisations, a mix of performing arts tours including theatre and dance with 60 per cent of performances occurring in regional and remote communities.

– Australia Council analysis shows that over the past four years more than 5,000 performances have been supported through Playing Australia to estimated audiences of more than 1.6 million people.
– These tours included more than 3,000 additional engagement activities (workshops, masterclasses and opportunities for communities and artists to engage directly with artists and the touring companies) and more than half of the performances and engagement activities supported through these tours took place in regional and remote areas.
– Playing Australia offers three grant rounds each year and applications for the next round close on Tuesday 6 June 2017 for projects starting after 1 September 2017.

Contemporary Music Touring Program (CMTP) – more than$190,000 will support 13 emerging and established Australian contemporary musicians undertake tours from country and folk to hip hop, jazz, pop and rock across all state and territories.

– Australia Council analysis shows that more than 56 per cent of the Contemporary Music Touring Program performances will be in regional and remote communities, providing audiences in those regions with increased opportunities to experience diverse live music from across the country.

– The program also continues to support artists based in regional areas to access support, build their profile and tour their work.
– There are two rounds of Contemporary Music Touring Program grants available each year which provide support for the net touring costs associated with a national tour. Applications for the next round of CMTP close on Tuesday 3 October 2017 for projects starting after 1 January 2018.

Contemporary Touring Initiative (CTI) – $577,000 will support four organisations to develop national touring of significant contemporary visual art and craft exhibitions, with a particular focus extending into regional communities.

– The Australia Council delivers CTI which is part of the Visual Arts and Craft Strategy (VACS), a formal agreement between the Commonwealth, State and Territory Governments to support the Australian contemporary visual arts sector by providing directed funding for individual artists, art and craft organisations.
– Targeted to organisations with demonstrated contemporary visual arts exhibition experience and touring expertise to develop and/or tour an exhibition between calendar years 2017-2020, CTI funds cutting-edge practice and innovation in how contemporary visual arts and craft is exhibited and toured, including new ways to reach and engage audiences.

The full list of recipients for the February funding grant round can be found on the Australia Council website under awarded grants from the 9 May. The Australia Council grants program supports a diverse range of artists, artistic practice, organisations and arts activity. For more information, visit: for details.