Resources, networks and funding opportunities for the youth arts and cultural sector.

Youth organisations

Find support and information including a range of courses and training opportunities:

  • youthcentral is the Victorian Government's web-based initiative for young people aged 12-25,  with information and articles about getting a job, courses and training, reviews and competitions. Includes a section specifically on finding grants and writing grant applications.
  • is a gateway to youth information, programmes, services, resources and entertainment for young people between the ages of 12 and 25. Includes links to various youth initiatives including National Youth Week and Australian Youth Forum.
  • The Youth Affairs Council of Victoria Inc. (YACVic) is the peak body and leading policy advocate on young people's issues in Victoria. Our vision is for a Victorian community that values and provides opportunity, participation, justice and equity for all young people.
Youth Arts Networks and Peak Bodies

For advice and information about funding, mentorships and Arts Development.

  • Making Your Mentorship Work - Australian Council for the Arts
    This handbook is produced by the Australian Council and provides information on seeking or planning a mentorship in the arts industry - either as a mentee or mentor.
  • Arts projects for individuals and groups - Australian Council for the Arts
    This guide shows young people how to develop their ideas, manage projects well and move on to the next one. It has lists of contacts for advice and help, and it will assist young people develop skills to be a manager, artistic director, negotiator, public relations officer and fundraiser.
  • Arts Law gives preliminary advice and information to artists and arts organisations across all artforms on a wide range of arts related legal and business matters including contracts, copyright, business names and structures, defamation, insurance and employment.
  • Lowdown is Australia's national youth performing arts magazine.
    Published every two months, Lowdown covers the astonishingly diverse range of youth arts experiences that are on offer throughout Australia.
Youth Arts Funding

Search a range of local, national and international funding opportunities.

  • Your Arts Prizes
    Searchable database of over 1000 Australian art prizes, grants, scholarships and residencies.
  • Australian Council for the Arts
    The Australian Council for the Arts is the Australian Government's arts funding and advisory board.
  • Foundation for Young Australians
    The Foundation for Young Australians has a range of grants available including Buzz grants to support young musicians, sound artists and music-related arts workers.
  • City of Melbourne arts grants
    The City of Melbourne has a range of arts grants available including a grant specifically to support artists under the age of 26 (Category Nine: Young Artists). Young artists can apply for the development and presentation of work across all art forms. Projects in this category must result in some form of public presentation.
  • Under the Radar
    This category in the St Kilda Film Festival provides an opportunity for young film makers to show their work in an internationally recognised film festival.
  • Mary and Lou Senini Student Art Award
    The Mary and Lou Senini Student Art Award was established in 1998 with the intention to provide support to Victorian art students at a tertiary level.
  • CCP Colour Factory Award
    Centre for Contemporary Photography and Colour Factory invite all photographic artists in the first eight years of their practice to enter the CCP/Colour Factory Award for an emerging photographic artist
  • Bayside Film Festival
    Secondary and tertiary students across Australia are invited to submit short films for screening throughout the Bayside Film Festival.

Don't forget to check out your local council, there may be other funding opportunities open to you.

Youth Arts Organisations

Some organisations that produce work by and with young people and facilitate experiences for young audiences...

Community and Collaborations

  • Signal
    Signal is an arts project by and about young people. Thirteen to 18 year olds will be able to work with professional artists on high quality arts and media projects, developing their own voices, and sending out their own Signal.
  • SYN FM
    Melbourne's only independent youth media organisation. SYN broadcasts throughout Melbourne, Geelong and in parts of regional Victoria on 90.7 FM, produces live youth television for Channel 31 and a regular e-zine.
  • Visionary Images
    Visionary Images (VI) is an artistic collaboration between disadvantaged young people and established artists in partnerships with community welfare support agencies and other government and non government agencies.
  • Westside Circus
    Westside Circus is a vibrant and growing community arts organisation creating circus, performance, physical theatre, music and leadership opportunities for young people.
  • Western Edge
    Western Edge Youth Arts is a non-profit organisation established to provide positive arts and performance experiences to young people from different cultural and social backgrounds living in the western suburbs of Melbourne. Projects are managed in community contexts and in schools projects.

Theatre, Dance and Performance

  • Arena Theatre Company
    Arena Theatre Company is one of Australia's longest-running producers of theatre for children and young people. Arena's  mission is to create dynamic, sophisticated, contemporary theatre that engages young audiences and is recognised internationally for excellence in creating performances for young people.
  • Barking Spider Visual Theatre
    Barking Spider Visual Theatre is a Melbourne-based arts company that works with young people (early learners through to university-age) as equal creative collaborators. Through diverse art platforms, with a focus on story, Barking Spider transforms the way people experience the familiar and encounter the unfamiliar - in museums, galleries, theatres, communities, schools, festivals, residencies and through workshops.
  • Courthouse Youth Arts Centre
    The Courthouse (as it's commonly referred to)  is located in Geelong and provides a dynamic world of arts based programs & events focused on young people aged 12-25 years and facilities accessible to the general community.
  • The National Theatre Drama School
    The Youth Drama Program offers young people between the ages of 5 and 17, a range of drama classes that aim to engage, excite and train students in the actor's craft. Classes cater for specific age groups and run both mid-week and on Saturdays.
  • Phunktional
    Phunktional is a dance theatre company dedicated to positive social change through the creation of performances that investigate, discuss and reflect contemporary society.
  • St Martin's Youth Arts Centre
    A not-for-profit organisation for young people aged five to twenty-five which encourages artistic development through hands-on projects, creative opportunities and exposure to artists and theatre practices. They have an ensemble program including the new St Martins Choir and run workshops and masterclasses.
  • Union House Theatre
    Union House Theatre has helped nurture generations of playwrights, directors, performers and technicians. Union House Theatre engages students in a wide range of professionally-led performing arts experiences, as well as assisting with student-run productions and initiatives.

Literature and Writing

  • Centre for Youth Literature
    The Centre for Youth Literature offers exciting and affordable book events for young people and professionals. Teenagers and children meet great writers and talented young actors - bringing reading to life.
  • Express Media
    The peak organisation for the creation, development and promotion of young Australian writers and text-based artists and produces Voicework magazine. Express Media is a key point of contact for young people wishing to enter the world of literature and text from either a professional viewpoint, or just to test the waters.


  • Anti-Racism Action Band (A.R.A.B)
    A.R.A.B is run by the Victorian Arabic Social Services. It is a unique, high energy community development youth performing arts project currently working with 100 youth from 30 different cultures in the North and North West of Melbourne.
  • FReeZa
    A Victorian Government program that provides opportunities for young people to enjoy drug and local alcohol-free music and cultural events. Young people are involved in the planning and delivery of every FReeZA event with the assistance of community organisations. There is a gig guide as well as a list of FReeZa committees so you can get involved in helping organise the next event.
  • The Push
    The Push is a non-profit, statewide youth entertainment organisation. It was established to provide opportunities for young people to access affordable, alcohol free events and to have the option to participate in the life of the local community. The Push coordinates 'Face the Music' which is an annual program of workshops for young musicians and there is also a list of resources available to download.
Youth Arts Festivals

Festivals who program work by, with and for young people and their families.

  • Emerging Writer's Festival
    Celebrating Australia's evolving literary landscape, the festival brings writers, editors, publishers and literary performers together with the reading public for panel sessions (covering the art, craft and business of being a writer), readings and workshops.
  • Fringe Festival
    Each year the Fringe Festival provides an umbrella for Melbourne's independent artists to present their contemporary, innovative and trend-setting art. Fringe is open access, meaning artists are responsible for the creation and presentation of their own events.
  • Sweet Streets
    Sweet Streets is proudly presented by Melbourne Stencil Festival in conjunction with the City of Yarra & 3RRR and celebrates & embraces the diversity of street art.
  • Melbourne Writer's Festival
    Melbourne Writers' Festival was set up to raise awareness of the importance of the contribution of writers and their work to Australian society and to foster and encourage interest in literature generally, especially amongst the young.
  • Next Wave
    Next Wave is a biennial festival and artist development organisation, presenting new work by the next wave of Australian artists.
  • St Kilda Festival
    An outdoor community street festival along St Kilda's foreshore, the St Kilda Festival presents free live music, extreme sports, dance and children's activities in a carnival-like atmosphere. The festival also includes exhibitions and performances in St Kilda's galleries.
Other Resources

Interesting sites, resources and organisations offering youth specific and other programs.

  • The Centre for Contemporary Photography Rotary Youth Arts Project
    Young people living, studying or attending services in the City of Yarra are invited to participate in a 20 week photography course at the CCP.
  • Code Z
    More than just a lively art news source, with community forums, feedback opportunities, and artists' works, Code Z is an unparalleled network of black visual creators at the forefront of shaping our culture and our world.
  • Deviant art
    Deviant art is an online network for socialising, viewing and posting art, from photography and painting to flash and anime.
  • Inside a dog
    The insideadog website promotes Australian and international young adult literature. It features news, book reviews, a writer-in-residence blog, author interviews, links, competitions and lots of opportunity for contributions from young readers.
  • La Trobe Regional Gallery Young Ambassadors Program
    Inspired by the National Gallery of Victoria's Youth Access Project, the LRG Young Ambassadors program has been created to offer opportunities for young people who want to start a career in the Arts Sector, and provide the Gallery some insight into the interests (and disinterests) of local young adults.
  • National Gallery of Victoria - Access 
    The National Gallery of Victoria provides arts based programs, services and activities for young people in metropolitan and regional Victoria, who are not in education or employment.
  • Sticky Institute
    Sticky is a volunteer run, not for profit Artist Run Initiative housed in Degraves Street Subway under Flinders Street, Melbourne. It was originally conceived as a not for profit retail 'side project' in 2001 by the Platform Artist Group who operate artist exhibition spaces in the subway and nearby lanes.