|The arts scene in Australia is characterized by the multi-ethnic and multi-lingual make-up of its artists and arts organizations and Australia Council for the Arts was founded as a government organization to provide support and advisory functions directly to these artists and companies. The Council was formed as an interim council in 1973 and was given statutory authority by the Australia Council Act 1975. Each year the Council provides over 1700 grants to artists and arts organizations across the country in the fields of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander arts, community cultural development, dance, literature, music, new media arts, theatre and visual arts/craft. The council also supports major performing arts companies through funding partnerships with the state governments.
In addition, the Australia Council for the Arts supports strategies to develop new audiences and new markets for the arts as well as conducting arts research and policy development, and regularly advising governments and industry on issues affecting Australian artists, such as taxation and insurance.
The Council consists of seven committees dedicated respectively to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander arts, Community Partnerships, Dance, Literature, Major Performing Arts (monitoring the operations of 29 major arts organizations and maintaining relationship with funding agencies in the respective state governments), Music, Theatre and Visual Arts. These committees are made up off experts in the various fields and representatives recommended by the various regions.
The Council also works to get out information about the arts by operating unique websites like “Australian Music Online” (AMO), providing information about contemporary music in Australia, “noise,” which provides profiling of visual arts artists in Australia and abroad, “fuel4arts,” providing the latest news from the world arts scene and research reports to its membership (registration free of charge), and “The Program,” a site the lets young artists and companies post information about their events and provides pages for individuals to post their reviews of events.
|+||Main funding programs in the performing arts
Two-year scholarships granted to individual artists of achievement to be used for creative activities. Applications accepted once a year.
New Work (Theatre/Dance)
Funding for the production of new works. In the case of theatre it can also be used for new productions of existing works. Applications accepted biannually.
Skills and Arts development (Theatre/Dance)
This program supports skills and arts development opportunities for communities and professional artists and arts workers working in community cultural development. Applications accepted biannually.
Key Organizations Triennial (Theatre/Dance)
A three-year grant for organizations/companies of especially high achievement. Applications accepted once a year.
A one-year grant given to organization/companies decided to be worthy of support. Particularly in the case of dance, top priority is given to organizations providing support to small-scale dance companies and performances. Applications accepted once a year.
| ||*Playing the World (Theatre)
Aimed at providing support for artists seeking to develop new overseas markets or develop audiences, grants are given for overseas performance tours of high-quality, innovative productions. Applications accepted once a year.
*Flying Start (Theatre)
Professional development grants for new artistic directors and general managers. Applications accepted once a year. Also, explanatory meetings are held once a year to advise freelance producers on making use of grants from the Council.
*Dramaturgy Fellowship (Theatre)
An initiative that provides an opportunity for the consolidation of professional dramaturgical practice to an experienced dramaturg.
*Take Your Partner (Dance)
Grants for individuals or companies that want to turn a creative idea into a project or want to work with a particular individual, group or organization or have been developing a working relationship with an individual or organization and want to take the next creative steps. Applications accepted once a year.
*Project Workspace3 (Dance)
Grants of Aus.$1000 (approx. 90,000 yen) are offered to assist individual dancers, choreographers and movement artists to gain access to work space.
The Council’s website has a “Grant Finder” function that lets people find out what grants are available to companies and individual artists so that prospective applicants can get online information about what programs they can apply to and the deadlines.