29 September 2021

The new $120,000 Accelerating Cultural Change program will provide funding to Victorian Deaf and Disabled artists while researching ways to make the grant application process accessible for people of all abilities.

Two woman of colour are standing on a stage. Both are holding string instruments, but only the one in front is playing.

Credit: Music Makers, Amplify Event, 2021. Photography by Sam Boom.

While grants programs traditionally involve an online application, the Accelerate pilot will enable applicants to submit a written, video or audio application. Applicants and their support workers can also book a phone or video consultation where the Arts Access team will work through the application form and record their responses live.

Aimed at artists at all stages of their careers, $5,000 grants through the Accelerate: Nurture stream will support artist who want to continue or begin their professional career and the Accelerate: Create stream will provide $15,000 grants to support the development or presentation of new work that is centered around access.

Both streams will offer additional funding to cover access costs, whether that is hiring or purchasing ergonomic equipment and access aids,  engaging support workers, assistance animal costs, therapy or mental health support.

The program has been supported through Victorian Government’s Creative State 2025 strategy which includes an action focused on improving access to employment opportunities for creatives who are Deaf or Disabled.

In the past year, Creative Victoria has worked with Arts Access Victoria to deliver dedicated funding streams for Deaf and Disabled creatives and provide support for access costs across its new programs. Accelerate will take this work further by reshaping the application process and researching ways to create lasting change.

Applications to the first round of the Accelerate program close on Monday 25 October, 2021. Two further rounds will be offered in December 2021 and February 2022. For program guidelines and more information, visit artsaccess.com.au