What is the Creative Projects Fund?

The Creative Projects Fund supports professional artists, creative practitioners, groups/collectives and creative micro to small organisations with short-term funding to develop and/or launch work that defines and represents Victoria’s cultural identity and breaks new ground.

What kind of activities will the program support?

The Creative Projects Fund supports projects led by Victorian professional artists, creative practitioners, groups/collectives and creative micro-organisations which can include projects collaborating with creative and non-creative personnel (such as technicians, publicists etc).

Funding can be used to:

  • Develop new creative content, products or experiences and/or
  • Present/launch creative content, products or experiences to local, national and international markets and audiences

Is the program open to a range of creative disciplines?

Yes. Applications are encouraged from a wide range of creative disciplines from across the sector, including but not limited to screen, digital games, design, visual arts/craft, literature, dance/physical performance, circus, cabaret, music, sound art, theatre, multidisciplinary and cross-industry collaborations.

Please note: screen activities that can be funded through VicScreen’s programs will not be funded by this program. Contemporary music proposals and touring proposals will not be funded by this program. Touring proposals may be directed to the Touring Victoria program.

How much funding is available?

Applications will be accepted for requests between $5,000 and $20,000.

While all applicants are encouraged to include access costs within their project budget, those applying through the Deaf and Disabled stream may apply for an additional amount of up to $3,000 on top of the general project costs to cover specific access expenses for Deaf and Disabled participants.

If my application is successful, when will the funding period start?

This round supports activities commencing from 1 January 2023 and onwards.

How can I apply for activities taking place in 2023 when we don’t have certainty about what restrictions will be in place?

We acknowledge there is still uncertainty due to the pandemic. We therefore encourage applicants to consider flexible delivery models and activities that can be adapted swiftly to comply with changing restrictions and to state their contingency plan or flexible model as part of their application.

For projects involving international travel, please consider viable planning and contingencies. You will be responsible for your own COVID-19 safety planning and risk management. Information about travel risks and COVID-19-related quarantine requirements can be found on the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs’ Smart Traveller website.

If my application is successful, when will the grant payment be made?

You will receive a Common Funding Agreement if your application is successful and you must confirm your acceptance of the agreement.

The payment schedule and any relevant funding deliverables/milestones will be outlined in the funding agreement.

Once the agreement has been executed (i.e. accepted by the recipient and Creative Victoria), and you have satisfied any conditions and provided us with an invoice, then the grant payment will be made.

The grant payment period is the 2022/2023 financial year.

Eligibility

Who can apply?

This program accepts applications from individuals and collectives that meet Creative Victoria’s General Eligibility.

The primary focus of the proposal must include Victorian professional artists, creative practitioners, collectives, groups, businesses or organisations that meet Creative Victoria’s general eligibility AND a creative project.

Creative Victoria will only accept one application per applicant (including under auspice) in each funding round. Auspice bodies may apply on behalf of multiple applicants.

Please note:

  • Groups of individuals who join together as a collective must be legally constituted or nominate either an individual or an auspicing body to apply, and to take legal and financial responsibility for the grant should one be awarded.
  • All applicants must have an active ABN. If you do not have an ABN, you can apply for an ABN online or apply for the grant through an auspice body with an ABN.
  • Micro or small creative organisations/businesses must have no more than 10 fulltime equivalent staff.

I have received a Creative Victoria grant recently – can I apply to this program?

Recipients of the following Creative Victoria programs/rounds cannot apply:

  • Creative Enterprises Program (except where acting as an auspice)
  • Regional Partnerships Program
  • Creative Ventures Program
  • Creators Fund - January 2022 round
  • Victorian Independent Producers Initiative – Unlocking Capacity program.

Previous grant recipients of other Creative Victoria programs are eligible to apply, provided they:

  • Do not have an overdue Creative Victoria (or former Arts Victoria) acquittal;
  • Meet the eligibility criteria of the Creative Projects Fund program;
  • Are for activities as set out in the program guidelines; and
  • Are not applying for funding for the same project/activity that has previously been funded.

I am in more than one collective or working on more than one project. Can I apply for funding for different projects/activities?

Only one application per applicant or organisation will be accepted. One individual is not able to act as the primary contact for two separate applications. This applies to both individual and group/collective activity.

Can my activity commence before 1 January 2023?

Creative Victoria will not consider funding for activity prior to 1 January 2023. You should not enter into any arrangements or make any payments on the assumption you will receive support for activity prior to this date.

As Creative Victoria grants use public money, the allocation of funds through our grants programs requires significant scrutiny and applicants cannot be funded until this process has been completed.

Creative Projects Fund does not support the reimbursement of expenses already incurred, or other retrospective funding. For example, you cannot apply for funding to cover the costs for an exhibition that you presented in October 2022.

If I meet the eligibility criteria, am I guaranteed funding?

No. Demand for Creative Victoria funding is high and this is an extremely competitive program. Applicants must not assume they will be successful or enter into commitments based on that assumption before receiving formal notification of the outcome of their funding. Nor should applicants assume that if they are successful once they will be successful again in the future.

I have a new business. Can I apply for business start-up costs and business support?

This program’s aim is not to provide business support. LaunchVic’s website has information and resources for start-ups. For business support, please refer to Business Victoria’s website.

Can I apply for funding to support international activity?

Applications for international activity will be accepted. Applicants should ensure that any proposed international activities demonstrate compliance with current Commonwealth and Victorian public health measures to slow the spread of coronavirus.

For projects involving international travel, please consider viable planning and contingencies.

Applicants will be responsible for their own COVID-19 safety planning and risk management. Applicants should ensure that any proposed international activities demonstrate compliance with current Commonwealth and Victorian public health measures to slow the spread of coronavirus. Information about travel risks and COVID-19-related quarantine requirements can be found on the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs’ Smart Traveller website.

Can I apply for funding to cover costs for non-Victorian creatives?

Creative Projects Fund does not support costs or payments to non-Victorian creative practitioners or collectives. If you intend to collaborate with non-Victorian creatives, you will need to cover costs or payments through another source of income (e.g., your own savings, ticket sales, a grant from another funding body, fundraising etc.)

Please contact program staff to discuss if you need any further advice.

Can I apply to Creative Projects Fund if I have applied for funding through VicScreen? 

Creative Projects Fund does not duplicate the programs offered by VicScreen. If your activity/project is suitable for funding through any of VicScreen’s programs, you are not eligible to apply to this program. This is to ensure fairness and equity, given that there will be limited funding available.

You are welcome to apply to the Creative Projects Fund for activities that are not eligible for VicScreen programs. Please contact program staff to discuss if you need any further advice.

Any information provided in your application may be shared and subject to verification with other government departments/agencies, including VicScreen, as required.

Application process

What is an auspice?

Any legally constituted body may act as an auspice. In this instance, the auspice organisation will receive any funds allocated and is responsible for the management of the project and must sign off on the acquittal of grant funds.

Who needs an auspice?

Groups of individuals who join together as a collective must be legally constituted or nominate either an individual or an auspice to apply, and to take legal and financial responsibility for the grant should one be awarded.

If you don’t have an ABN or are not sure that you will have the capacity to manage the paperwork or requirements associated with a Creative Victoria grant, an organisation or business can submit the application on your behalf.

If your application is successful, the auspice organisation will receive any funds allocated, is responsible for the management of the project and must sign off on the acquittal of grant funds.

It is recommended that you have a clear written agreement with your auspice organisation. You must have written confirmation of their agreement with you, from the auspice organisation, before applying for funding.

Please note, an auspice organisation can apply to this program on behalf of multiple people/projects.

How do I apply if I have an auspice? 

  1. Click the application link provided on the relevant program funding page.
  2. On the first page of the portal application click 'Next' and it will take you to log in/register on the portal.
  3. Once logged in fill in YOUR information in the Applicant details section.
  4. When the form asks you if you are using an Auspice answer YES.
  5. Fill in the Auspice organisation information. This will include the Auspice's ABN, Legal Entity Name and contact details. Please have this information ready before you start your application.
  6. Continue to fill in the application questions.
  7. If you have an agreement with your auspice already organised, please include it with your support material.
  8. Submit your grant.

For more information, visit the Auspiced Applications webpage on Creative Victoria’s website.

What should I consider when engaging with First Peoples content in my application? 

One of the key guiding principles of the Creative State 2025 strategy is First Peoples First. We are committed to the United Nations Declaration of the Rights of Indigenous Peoples and the 11 guiding principles of Aboriginal Self-Determination as identified in the Victorian Aboriginal Affairs Framework 2018-23.

Applicants must follow correct protocols when working with First Peoples artists, content and/or communities. Please refer to Australia Council’s Protocols For Using First Nations Cultural And Intellectual Property In The Arts. In particular, the project checklist (pp. 168-172) can be used as a resource to guide considerations when engaging with First Peoples content, creatives/artists and cultural heritage.

For the protection of First Peoples arts practice from misappropriation, moral and copyright infringement, appropriate documentation must be submitted if you propose to work with First Peoples stories/cultural material that is not your own, such as letters of confirmation from the First Peoples you are working with and protocols you will put in place to ensure cultural safety.

Applications from non-First Peoples applicants that contain First Peoples content may also be reviewed by a First Peoples panel. Activity that does not follow or demonstrate correct protocols will not be supported.

I receive a Disability Support Payment (DSP), or have a National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) plan, or another type of Federal Government support (e.g. Centrelink payment). If I am successful, will the grant impact my payments?

It may impact your payments. You may wish to contact Services Australia to determine if any grant may affect your payment. You may also wish to contact your employer or the Australian Taxation Office about any potential impacts.

Grants paid by Creative Victoria may be considered part of your income in a financial year and may therefore be subject to tax. Recipients must determine their own taxation responsibilities.

Can the funding be used for access costs?

We strongly encourage applicants to consider inclusive ways of working and ensuring access to all audiences. Funding can be used to cover any access costs that help remove barriers for participants involved in your activity. You can also use the funding to make your activity accessible to a wider audience.

Applicants applying through the Deaf and Disabled creatives stream may also apply for an additional amount of up to $3,000 on top of their general project costs to cover specific access expenses that will help reduce barriers for Deaf and Disabled creatives/industry workers involved in the project.

What is an example of an access cost?

This is not an exhaustive list as it is dependent on the type of activity and the reasonable adjustments required for each individual involved in the activity:

  • Access consultant — for support in designing an accessible space/event
  • Access/disability support workers
  • Assistive listening devices, audio loops etc.
  • Audio description
  • Auslan interpreters
  • Blind or low vision assistance
  • Braille in labelling, marketing, signage at venue, etc.
  • Captioning services (open/closed)
  • Coordinate or develop a support program like Inclusive Arts Network
  • Disability concession pricing or subsidised ticket prices
  • Disability liaison person – for meeting and/or engaging with Deaf and/or Disabled people to be responsive to their access needs
  • Ergonomic equipment and/or an ergonomic consultant
  • Guide dog access
  • Hiring access aids/equipment
  • Plain English marketing material – short, simple sentences with pictures
  • Setting up a quiet or sensory space or session – to avoid sensory overload or to provide sensory input to meet a sensory need
  • Staff and volunteer training e.g. disability awareness, communication, etc
  • Therapy – including counselling, physio, occupational therapy, etc.
  • Translation services
  • Updating website and booking system to a more accessible user interface.

I want to make my activities/organisations more accessible, but I don’t know where to start?

Access costs vary depending on the project and services required. An Inclusive Practice Guide and a list of organisations in Victoria offering support to Deaf and Disabled people can be found on Arts Access Victoria’s website.

Additional resources:

Assessment Process

How will applications submitted through the First Peoples stream be assessed?

Applications from First Peoples or First Peoples-led collectives, organisations or businesses will be assessed by a First Peoples panel. This embeds Aboriginal self-determination into the assessment process.

Applications from non-First Peoples individuals, collectives, businesses or organisations that contain First Peoples content will be made to the General stream or the Deaf and Disabled stream and may also be reviewed by a First Peoples panel. Applications that do not provide documentation to demonstrate cultural protocol will not be supported for funding.

Will the First Peoples stream be open to non-First Peoples creatives, collectives, business or organisations that wish to present First Peoples content in partnership with First Peoples creatives?

No. The First Peoples stream is specifically for applications led by First Peoples. For non-First Peoples-led applications wishing to collaborate with First Peoples to present First Peoples stories, culture or content, the application will be made to the General stream or Deaf and Disabled stream.

This means your application will be assessed by the relevant external peers and may also be reviewed by a First Peoples panel to ensure appropriate cultural protocols and cultural safety are reflected in the application. Activity that does not follow or demonstrate correct protocols will not be supported.

How will this program support Deaf and Disabled people in the creative industries?

Applications by Victorian Deaf and Disabled creatives can choose to be assessed by a panel of creative industries peers with lived experience of deafness and disability or will be asked to choose which creative discipline peer assessment panel you want to assess your application. Applications that are not led by Deaf and Disabled creatives, but involve key participants who identify as Deaf and Disabled may also elect to be assessed under this stream. Please contact program staff to discuss.

What are the deliverables and reporting obligations for Creative Projects Fund?

Any relevant funding deliverable/milestone will be outlined in the funding agreement.

You will be required to provide regular updates about your funded activity, including information about the activity budget and activity plan.

At the end of your funded period, you must submit an acquittal which provides information about the outcomes of your funding.

During and after your funded period, you are required to participate in a program evaluation. You may be asked to provide information about your funded activity and any longer-term outcomes that may inform the evaluation of the Creative Projects Fund program.

Why does it take so long to assess this program?

After the round closes for applications, Creative Victoria staff complete an eligibility and due diligence check for all submitted applications. External creative industry peer assessors are then allocated applications and given a period to review them. Recommendations are compiled and provided to the Minister for Creative Industries for final approval.

As Creative Victoria grants use public money, the allocation of funds through our grants programs requires significant scrutiny. All applicants will be advised on the outcome of their application approximately ten weeks from the closing date.

How does Creative Victoria support a fair distribution of funds and ensure applicants from a diverse range of backgrounds and genres are supported? 

We acknowledge that to ensure funding is equitably distributed, we need to engage people from diverse backgrounds in our processes, from inception to delivery. Creative Victoria is working with industry representatives to ensure there is diverse representation on assessment panels for this program.

What does equity benchmark mean?

Base levels of funding distribution have been established for the Creative Projects Fund. This ensures priority groups are supported adequately as follows, noting that some recipients may fall under one or more groups.

A minimum of 15% of total distributed funds has been designated for applicants in each of the following groups:

  • Applicants who identify as First Peoples
  • Applicants based in regional Victoria
  • Applicants who identify as culturally and linguistically diverse
  • Applicants who identify as Deaf and/or Disabled

If a small number of applications is received for any of these groups, the remaining funding allocation will return to the general pool.

We will also be reaching out to a broad range of organisations to promote the program and to encourage applicants from diverse backgrounds and across the sector.