What is the Creative Projects Fund?

Creative Projects Fund seeks to support 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

Applications for all streams open on Thursday 7 December 2023.

Applications for all streams close at 3pm on Thursday 1 February 2024.

This round supports activities starting from 1 June 2024 onwards. Your project must conclude within 12 months from your activity start date.

What is the difference between Creative Projects Fund and Creators Fund?

The Creative Projects Fund is one-off funding for a specific creative project. It is a grant program which invests in new creative content and supporting career pathways. The Creative Projects Fund supports public presentation and distribution of creative content, including international market development opportunities. You should have a concrete outcome / idea for this grant program.

Whereas Creators Fund is for research and development, allowing creatives to take time away from their usual practice to dedicate themselves to experiment, research and develop ideas and their practice. You don’t need a concrete outcome; you can just explore a topic or idea.

In review, the Creators Fund allows you to take time away from your usual activities to dedicate your time and practice to research and development, while Creative Projects Fund is short-term funding which allows you to create or present creative projects, works or content.

What kind of projects will the program support?

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

Funding can be used to:
1.      Develop new creative content, products or experiences and/or
2.      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 may be directed to the Music Works 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 accessibility 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 accessibility expenses for Deaf and Disabled participants.

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

This round supports activities commencing 1 June 2024. Your project must conclude within 12 months from your activity start date.

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 2023/2024 financial year. All grants will aim to be paid by 30 June 2024.


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.

The program will be open to professional Victorian-based:

  • Independent artists and creative practitioners
  • Creative collectives and groups
  • Creative micro to small organisations/businesses

Please note:

  • Creative Victoria will only accept one application per applicant (including as part of a collective or under auspice) in each funding round. Auspice bodies may apply on behalf of multiple applicants.
  • Demand for Creative Victoria support is high. Applicants must not assume they will be successful or enter into/give up commitments based on that assumption before receiving formal notification of their application outcome.
  • Successful applicants should not assume that if successful once, they will be successful again in the future. Applicants should consider how they will use the funding to build their sustainability beyond the funded period.

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

Recipients of the following Creative Victoria programs/rounds cannot apply (unless acting as an auspice):

  • Creative Enterprises Program
  • Regional Partnerships Program
  • Creative Ventures Program
  • 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 June 2024?

Creative Victoria will not consider funding for activity prior to 1 June 2024. You should not commit to 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 March 2024.

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 commitments based on that assumption before receiving formal notification of the outcome of their funding. If you’ve been successful once, that isn’t a guarantee that you’ll be successful again.

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

This program is not for business support.  LaunchVic’s website has information and resources for start-ups. Please refer to Business Victoria’s website for more information about business support.

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.

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

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

How do I write a project description?

The project description should be a description of the type of activity in the application and how it aligns with the program outcomes of the Creative Projects Fund. Please use the following description template: Who will do what, with whom? What are the outcomes?

For example: To support Artistic Collective to develop and present a series of new works and performances in their 2024 season, showcasing local musicians and collaborations.

How do I answer the application question?

There is only one application question in the form. It is important to provide a comprehensive overview of your project, including what you are proposing to do, the timeframe you are delivering the project, any key milestones and key collaborators on the project.

When you are forming your response, consider how your project aligns with the program outcomes and assessment criteria.
You may also wish to consider these prompting questions: What is it and how do you plan to do it? Why is it important for your career/practice?

For example; To support Artistic Collective to develop and present a series of new works and performances in their 2024 season, showcasing local musicians and collaborations. The season will be delivered for audiences across the state, focusing on presentations in regional centres.

Artistic Collective will engage local Victorian musicians and collaborators, furthering the careers of Victorian creatives and delivering unique programming to a wide variety of communities.

Artistic Collective have a strong track record and suitability to undertake the project, with a viable budget to support the delivery of the 2024 season. [INPUT – further information relating to Viability criteria].

What supporting material do I provide with my application?

The application support documents will be used by the peer assessors to assess your proposal against the assessment criteria. The peer assessors will not assess your application without the required support materials (as listed in the guidelines).

The required support documents are:

  • Project Management Timeline
  • Creative support material

Optional support material may include:

  • Additional CV/bios
  • Budget notes
  • Support documentation to provide if your project involves Indigenous Cultural Intellectual Property (ICIP) and/or collaborations with First Peoples creatives or community/Elder(s)
  • Letters of support or Letters of partner confirmations
  • Community engagement strategy for activity with community

Ensure you prepare the require support documents and any optional support materials ahead of the program closing date, so you have everything prepared for the submission of your application.

How much detail should I provide in the Project Management Timeline?

The Project Management Timeline is an opportunity to step out your creative process. Your project should be a detailed overview of your project, including a summary of:

  • The main stages and tasks of the project, between the project start date and end date.
  • For each stage and task identified you should include details of the activity and/or task detail and personnel involved.
  • Where engagement is occurring with audiences or communities, identify the community and detail location.
  • Include any contingency planning which accounts for any delays or risks to the activity.
  • Identify any background information and potential future opportunities outside of the project start and end date

To help guide you on how to draft a project management timeline, we have created a project management timeline reference tool. This can be found on the Creative Projects Fund program page.

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.

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

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.

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

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'. Once you have completed the questions on page two 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 including Indigenous Cultural Intellectual Property (ICIP) and/or collaboration with First Peoples creatives and/or community/Elder(s) 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, activity and/or communities. Please refer to Creative Australia’s (previously Australia Council) Protocols For Using First Nations Cultural And Intellectual Property In The Arts. In particular, the project checklist (pages 168 to 172) can be used as a resource to guide considerations when engaging with First Peoples content, creatives 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 ICIP or collaborations may also be reviewed by a First Peoples cultural protocol review panel. Activity that does not follow or demonstrate correct protocols will not be supported.

Please use the below as a guide of the types of supporting documentation you need to provide:

  • the budget amount allocated for First Peoples collaboration or engagement (in the budget section of the application)
  • Letters of confirmation from First Peoples collaborators / communities (two pages)

For organisations / as appropriate:

  • Cultural safety protocol strategies.
  • First Peoples community engagement plans

I‘m on a Disability Support Payment plan/NDIS. Will the grant impact my payments?

Yes. This grant may affect your payments. Please check with Centrelink or your contact person at NDIS. You may want to consider being auspiced by an organisation.

Will Creative Projects Funding affect my tax obligations?

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

Can the funding be used for accessibility costs?

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

Provide budget notes about any accessibility costs that are included in your application budget.

Examples of accessibility costs:

  • 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)
  • 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 –counselling, physio, occupational therapy, etc.
  • Updating website and booking system to a more accessible user interface.

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

Accessibility costs vary depending on the project and services you need. We suggest getting in touch with an access consultant. You can find the 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:

  • Useful Publications, Arts Access Victoria
  • Guide to Inclusive Meetings, Description Victoria
  • Inclusive Publishing in Australia: An Introductory Guide, Australian Inclusive Publishing Initiative
  • Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG 2.0)
  • Resources, Arts Access Australia

Assessment Process

How will the First Peoples stream be assessed?

Applications from First Peoples or First Peoples-led groups will be assessed in alignment with Aboriginal self-determination by an assessment panel of First Peoples creative industries peers.

Applications in the Deaf and Disabled stream and the General stream that contain First Peoples activity or Indigenous Cultural Intellectual Property may be reviewed by a cultural protocol review panel of First Peoples creative industries peers.

Will the First Peoples stream be open to non-First Peoples applicants that wish to present Indigenous Cultural Intellectual Property (ICIP) 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 ICIP, please apply through the General or Deaf and Disabled creative streams.

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. Please refer to the ‘Submitting supporting material’ section of the program guidelines for more details on what to provide to demonstrate cultural protocol.

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

This program includes a dedicated assessment process for Deaf and Disabled applicants. 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?

Your Funding Agreement will outline your obligations.

You’ll need 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.

Why does it take so long to assess this program?

After the round closes for applications, submitted applications go through an eligibility and due diligence check. 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.

We work as fast as we can to assess applications. You’ll be advised of the outcome of your application approximately 12 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 creative disciplines are supported?

To ensure that our funding is equitably distributed, we need to engage people from diverse backgrounds in our processes, from inception to delivery.

We work with industry representatives to make sure that there is diverse representation on assessment panels for this program.

We also reach out to a broad range of organisations to promote the program to encourage applications from diverse backgrounds, including Deaf and Disabled, women, LGBTQIA+ and those from culturally and linguistically diverse communities.

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 per cent 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.