Victorian Government invests $113 million to support independent arts sector

The Substation NewportThe Victorian Government will back 90 of the state’s independent arts organisations with an investment of over $113 million over the next four years, providing stability to the sector and fuelling the state’s creative economy and cultural life.

“Independent arts organisations are a driving force of our creative industries,” said Minister for Creative Industries, Martin Foley. They have incredible reach and impact, providing creative opportunities across the state and showcasing Victorian talent around the globe.”

“There is a huge mix of organisations supported in this funding round. Together they are expected to employ 2,300 people, reach an audience of over 6 million and provide a high quality creative and cultural offering for Victoria.”

Regional festivals and Indigenous arts companies are among those receiving increased support in the 2017-2020 round of Creative Victoria’s Organisations Investment Program, which provides four-year funding for small, medium and large arts organisations to help underpin their operations.

Among the new entrants to the program are Shepparton’s Indigenous art organisation Gallery Kaiela; Indigenous opera company Short Black Opera; Newport’s dynamic multi-arts venue, The Substation; multicultural youth arts organisation, Outer Urban Projects, and the Museum Of Australian Democracy at Eureka in Ballarat.

The program is a key pillar of support for the arts sector and received a boost this year as part of the  Victorian Government’s Creative State strategy.

The overall portfolio of organisations supported spans the state and includes museums and galleries, music, theatre, circus, dance and opera companies, festivals and literary organisations. Peak industry bodies and service organisations are also in the mix.

The supported organisations reach a broad cross-section of the community, including children and youth, people with a disability, and culturally and linguistically diverse artists and audiences. Many tour extensively and have national and international reputations for creative excellence.

Applications were assessed  by eight panels of independent experts across the visual and performing arts, theatre, literature, festivals , dance, music, community cultural development and heritage, based on artistic merit, quality of services and contribution, and organisational capacity.

Priority was given to providing a stable base for smaller, more vulnerable organisations that are delivering strong creative or cultural outcomes.  More than 20% of the organisations are regionally based, 10% are Indigenous and 10% are dedicated to working with young people.

For more information, visit: for details.

Image: The Substation, Newport

Organisations Investment Program Recipients (funding over 4 years)

Aphids Southbank $294,000
Aphids is an artist-led organisation, creating and producing cross-artform projects in Victoria, interstate and internationally.

Arapiles Community Theatre Natimuk $300,000
Arapiles Community Theatre, Natimuk, delivers the biennial Nati Frinj festival providing artistic programs to foster the arts within the Natimuk community and surrounding region.

Arena Theatre Company North Melbourne $760,000
Arena Theatre Company creates live performances for audiences aged 5 to 25 years and its work investigates and celebrates the experiences of young people in the here and now.

Art is… Festival Horsham $300,000
Art is…Festival engages the Horsham region in high quality art experiences and art-making with its annual festival.

Arts Access Victoria South Melbourne $1,344,000
Arts Access Victoria delivers a range of programs supporting and representing people with a disability to realise their cultural aspirations as artists, arts workers and audiences.

Arts Mildura Mildura $473,760
Arts Mildura presents visual and performing arts experiences to a broad range of audiences and currently presents four festivals a year including the biennial Palimpsest.

Ausdance Victoria Yarraville $520,000
Ausdance Victoria is the sole peak professional body for dance in Victoria and the lead agency for dance education nationally.

Australian Centre for Contemporary Art Southbank $3,072,952
The Australian Centre for Contemporary Art (ACCA) is Victoria’s flagship contemporary arts space. It presents an annual season of free public exhibitions of artwork by living artists from Australia and around the world.

Australian Poetry Melbourne $240,000
Australian Poetry is the peak body for poetry in Australia, working with publishers, teachers, readers and festival organisers.

Australian Print Workshop Inc Fitzroy $674,520
The Australian Print Workshop is a fine art print workshop offering state-of-the-art printmaking facilities to artists and the general public.

Australian Tapestry Workshop South Melbourne $903,000
The Australian Tapestry Workshop is an international centre of excellence for contemporary, hand-woven tapestries, created in collaboration with leading artists, architects and designers.

Back to Back Theatre Inc Geelong $868,000
Back to Back Theatre works with an ensemble of actors who are perceived to have an intellectual disability. The company creates original new works of theatre and tours these works nationally and globally.

Ballarat International Foto Biennale Ballarat $300,000
Ballarat International Foto Biennale presents a month-long biennial festival of contemporary photography in multiple locations around Ballarat.

BalletLab Association Inc (Phillip Adams BalletLab) Southbank $513,000
Phillip Adams BalletLab creates original contemporary dance works in collaboration with artistic partners across art forms.

Baluk Arts Mornington $300,000
Baluk Arts is an urban Aboriginal community arts centre that supports artistic, career and audience development for Indigenous artists in Bayside, Peninsula and South-East Melbourne.

Bus Projects Collingwood $240,000
Bus Projects is an artist-run initiative that provides a platform for the development and presentation of contemporary visual arts.

Castlemaine State Festival Castlemaine $732,400
The Castlemaine State Festival is a biennial multi-arts festival that utilises the distinctive environment and creative culture of Castlemaine and the surrounding region.

Centre for Contemporary Photography Fitzroy $674,520
The Centre for Contemporary Photography delivers an exhibition program utilising local, national and international artists.

Chamber Made Opera North Melbourne $674,520
Chamber Made Opera brings together artists from different artforms to create experimental contemporary opera/musical theatre.

Chinese Museum Melbourne $428,400
The Museum of Chinese Australian History collects, researches and presents exhibitions relating to Australian Chinese history.

Chunky Move Southbank $3,512,060
Chunky Move is Victoria’s flagship contemporary dance company. As well as its artistic program, it provides leadership to the dance sector through residencies, mentorships and workshops.

Community Music Victoria Melbourne $252,000
Community Music Victoria strengthens and develops inclusive group music-making and choir development throughout Victoria.

Courthouse ARTS Geelong $270,060
Courthouse Arts, based in Geelong, provides artistic services for young people with a diverse mix of artforms and programs.

Craft Victoria Melbourne $1,125,600
Craft Victoria is the peak body for craft in Victoria with a gallery and shop in the Melbourne CBD.

Creative Clunes Clunes $240,000
Creative Clunes stages an annual festival-of-the-book with the aim of making Clunes one of the great literary Booktowns of the world.

Cultural Development Network Incorporated Carlton $240,000
Cultural Development Victoria advocates for the essential role of arts and cultural expression in the development of creative, healthy, engaged and sustainable communities.

Dancehouse Carlton North $640,000
Dancehouse is the centre for independent dance makers in Melbourne and plays a significant role in the development of innovative dance practice.

Emerging Writers’ Festival Melbourne $341,600
Emerging Writers’ Festival is a platform for connecting and profiling Australia’s emerging writers across live events throughout Australia and online.

Experimenta Media Arts Melbourne $453,600
Experimenta Media Arts develops and supports media artists and their practice through a biennial exhibition, a commissioning program and national and international touring.

Express Media Melbourne $562,800
Express Media is a youth organisation committed to the development of a new generation of Australian writers, offering a range of programs and opportunities.

Flying Fruit Fly Foundation South Albury $427,140
The Flying Fruit Fly Circus provides a circus program for young people aged 8 to 19, developing physical, performance and creative skills, and providing career pathways for circus artists.

Footscray Community Arts Centre Footscray $924,000
Footscray Community Arts Centre provides artistic programs and experiences to the diverse communities of Melbourne’s Western Region.

Gallery Kaiela Incorporated Shepparton $300,000
Gallery Kaiela exhibits and promotes the work of Shepparton-based Indigenous artists, developing a market for their work and promoting an understanding of South Eastern Australian Aboriginal arts and culture.

Gertrude Contemporary Fitzroy $798,000
Gertrude Contemporary is a leading contemporary visual art organisation supporting the creation and presentation of new work.

Heide Museum of Modern Art Bulleen $5,618,640
Heide Museum of Modern Art is a major outer-metropolitan art museum and sculpture park for modern and recent Australian visual arts.

Hobsons Bay Community Arts Inc (The Substation) Newport $300,000
The Substation is a multi-arts centre supporting, developing and promoting artists across a range of disciplines through an annual curated program of creative development, residencies and presentation.

HotHouse Theatre Ltd Wodonga $720,000
HotHouse Theatre Ltd is a national incubator of high quality theatre productions as well as a centre for artistic retreat and development in Northern Victoria.

ILBIJERRI Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Theatre Cooperative Ltd North Melbourne $780,000
ILBIJERRI promotes and provides opportunities for ‘the power of black voices telling black stories’ and has become the longest-running Indigenous theatre company in Australia.

Jewish Museum of Australia St Kilda $292,320
The Jewish Museum of Australia is committed to engaging people with Jewish culture and providing access to its material culture.

Koorie Heritage Trust Inc Melbourne $449,820
The Koorie Heritage Trust supports and promotes the diversity of South East Australian Aboriginal peoples and provides opportunities for all people to experience, learn and connect with living Koorie culture.

La Mama Inc Carlton $900,000
La Mama is a theatre company with a rich history and offers performing artists the opportunity, space, support and resources with which to take risks and make new work.

Linden Centre for Contemporary Arts St Kilda $240,000
Linden Centre for Contemporary Arts is an art gallery located in St Kilda exhibiting new work by contemporary artists and supporting artists’ development.

Liquid Architecture Sound Inc Windsor $240,000
Liquid Architecture showcases the quality and diversity of contemporary sonic arts practice through the public presentation of sound arts and experimental music.

Lucy Guerin Inc West Melbourne $640,000
Lucy Guerin creates and presents new contemporary dance works that challenge artists, audiences and the form of dance. The company plays a leading role in the development of the contemporary dance sector.

McClelland Sculpture Park + Gallery Langwarrin $462,000
McClelland Sculpture Park + Gallery presents outdoor sculptures by Australian artists in a native bushland landscape as well as exhibitions and public programs.

Melbourne Chamber Orchestra Melbourne $240,000
Melbourne Chamber Orchestra presents an annual series of chamber orchestral concerts in Melbourne, and tours and presents an educational program in regional Victoria.

Melbourne Festival Melbourne $25,216,824
Melbourne Festival is Victoria’s premier celebration of international performing and visual arts and Melbourne’s flagship cultural event.

Melbourne Fringe Melbourne $1,468,000
Melbourne Fringe presents the annual 18-day Melbourne Fringe Festival each September, and its year-round work provides independent artists with the tools to create, present and promote their work.

Melbourne International Comedy Festival Melbourne $6,861,400
Melbourne International Comedy Festival offers year-round touring, educational and artistic development programs, complementing the presentation of the iconic annual four-week Festival in Melbourne.

Melbourne Jazz Ltd North Melbourne $1,680,000
Celebrating its 20th anniversary in 2017, the Melbourne International Jazz Festival is a ten-day celebration of jazz over the first two weekends of June.

Melbourne Writers Festival Melbourne $1,196,000
Melbourne Writers Festival is Melbourne’s annual, two-week event for writers, readers and thinkers.

Midsumma Festival Melbourne $300,000
Midsumma Festival is Melbourne’s annual Queer Celebration and is a federation of arts and cultural events spread over venues throughout Melbourne and regional Victoria.

Multicultural Arts Victoria Inc South Melbourne $1,344,000
Multicultural Arts Victoria is Victoria’s peak arts organisation promoting cultural diversity in the arts, representing artists and communities from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds.

Museum of Australian Democracy at Eureka (M.A.D.E) Ballarat $340,000
Located in Ballarat, M.A.D.E uses interactive and immersive exhibitions to explore the history of Eureka and evolution of democracy.

Museums Australia (Victoria) Inc. Carlton $1,362,660
Museums Australia (Victoria) is a membership and peak body for Victoria’s 1,000 museums and galleries.

National Exhibitions Touring Support (NETS) Victoria Melbourne $831,600
NETS Victoria is the peak body for touring contemporary visual culture and design in Victoria.

Next Wave Festival Inc. North Melbourne $1,720,000
Next Wave Festival is a biennial festival and artist development organisation, presenting new work by emerging artists.

O L Society Limited (Overland) Footscray $240,000
Overland commissions, edits, promotes and oversees the distribution of high-quality new Australian creative and critical writing.

Outer Urban Projects Coburg North $240,000
Outer Urban Projects is a performing arts company that collaborates with young people and their communities in Melbourne’s culturally diverse, outer northern suburbs.

Polyglot Theatre South Yarra $840,000
Polyglot Theatre is Australia’s leading creator of participatory theatre for children and families. Its work is toured throughout Victoria as well as nationally and internationally.

Port Fairy Spring Music Festival Port Fairy $300,000
The Port Fairy Spring Music Festival features established and emerging professional musicians in programs that aim to engage, educate and entertain all members of the community.

Public Galleries Association of Victoria (PGAV) Melbourne $240,000
The Public Galleries Association of Victoria is the peak body for public galleries in Victoria.

Punctum Castlemaine $240,000
Punctum is an artist-led live arts organisation that fosters new approaches to collaborative performance making and audience engagement in Castlemaine and its region.

Ranters Theatre Northcote $320,000
Ranters Theatre is a performance company working with an ensemble of actors to produce a range of artistic outcomes that challenge theatrical presentation and form.

Rawcus Theatre Company Inc. Balaclava $320,000
Rawcus Theatre Company is a long-term ensemble of artists with and without a disability, presenting a program of projects, commissions, presentations and workshops for the general public.

Red Stitch Actors Theatre St Kilda $320,000
Red Stitch Actors Theatre works with an ensemble of performers and theatre-makers to promote Australian theatre culture and presents an annual season of diverse repertoire.

Regional Arts Victoria Melbourne $3,015,140
Regional Arts Victoria is the peak body for regional and rural arts in Victoria with more than 100 Arts Councils and affiliates as members.

Royal Historical Society of Victoria Melbourne $337,260
The Royal Historical Society of Victoria is the peak body for the preservation and promotion of heritage throughout Victoria.

Shepparton Arts Festival inc. Shepparton $300,000
The Shepparton Arts Festival presents a multi-art event annually that focuses on grassroots practice with the aim of engaging the whole community in its artistic program.

Short Black Opera Melbourne $360,000
Short Black Opera is an Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander opera company based in Melbourne. It provides intensive training to Indigenous singers, including children, and leads the Dhungala Children’s Choir, based in Shepparton.

Snuff Puppets Footscray $449,820
Snuff Puppets is an experimental puppet theatre company producing idiosyncratic performances of large-scale puppets locally, nationally and internationally.

Songlines Aboriginal Music Corporation Preston $336,000
Songlines Aboriginal Music Corporation provides opportunities for Victorian-based Indigenous musicians and performers to develop skills, showcase their artistic abilities and engage with the arts sector at an industry standard.

Speak Percussion Inc. Thornbury $294,000
Speak Percussion presents arts events focused on percussion involving challenging and invigorating performances.

St Martins Youth Arts Centre South Yarra $899,220
St Martins Youth Arts Centre provides theatre programs for people aged 5-30 years with a commitment to embody inclusion, civic mindedness and social engagement.

The Black Arm Band Melbourne $336,000
The Black Arm Band develops, performs, promotes and celebrates contemporary Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander music and culture.

The Boite (Victoria) Inc Abbotsford $512,400
The Boîte (Victoria) supports cultural diversity through the sharing of music, dance and storytelling from diverse traditions.

The Sovereign Hill Museums Association (Gold Museum) Ballarat $1,012,000
The Gold Museum is located in Ballarat and is operated by a business unit of the Sovereign Hill Museums Association. Its purpose is to inspire an understanding of the significance of the central Victorian gold rushes in Australia’s national story.

The Wheeler Centre Melbourne $6,166,400
The Wheeler Centre for Books Writing and Ideas is nationally and internationally renowned for its year-round program of talks and lectures, readings and debates about writing and ideas.

Theatre Network Australia South Melbourne $300,000
Theatre Network Australia is a national service organisation for the professional, small-to-medium and independent performing arts industry with a dedicated Victorian program.

Theatre Works St Kilda $588,000
Theatre Works is a multi-purpose, contemporary performance venue in St Kilda which supports innovative arts practice.

VAPAC Inc Newham $240,000
VAPAC is a membership based organisation for professionally managed venues delivering performing arts programs.

Victorian Opera Melbourne $15,150,296
Victorian Opera is Victoria’s leading opera company. It presents a main-stage opera season in Melbourne, commissions new Australian works, provides opportunities for Victorian artists, delivers an education program and presents programs for regional Victorians.

Wangaratta Festival of Jazz Wangaratta $475,020
The Wangaratta Festival of Jazz is a four-day annual celebration of jazz and blues which has been staged for over 23 years during the Melbourne Cup weekend.

Wantok Musik Thornbury $240,000
Wantok Music records, releases and promotes music from Indigenous Australia and Melanesia with an emphasis on mentoring, the transfer of skills and access.

West Space Inc. Melbourne $336,000
West Space is an artist-led organisation presenting contemporary art for Victorian audiences. The program includes exhibitions, performances, texts and publications, and public and educational programs.

Western Edge Youth Arts Footscray $320,000
Western Edge Youth Arts collaborates with young people under the age of 26 from diverse cultures to create artistic works that are complex and transformative.

Westside Circus Brunswick $240,000
Westside Circus is a community arts circus organisation working with young people aged 3-25 from diverse social, economic and cultural backgrounds.

Women’s Circus Footscray $292,320
Women’s Circus is a feminist arts organisation dedicated to enriching the lives of women and their communities through social circus and performance.

Writers Victoria Inc Melbourne $589,600
Writers Victoria is the peak body for writers in Victoria and provides information, resources and skills development opportunities to nurture, promote and assist its members.

Wurinbeena Limited Lake Tyers Beach $280,000
Wurinbeena is an Aboriginal organisation based in Lakes Entrance presenting contemporary Aboriginal arts and culture in East Gippsland and Victoria. The organisation operates Gunyah, a multi-purpose, wandering arts venue.