COVID Development Grants

Flâneurs performing at SOFT PEDAL II, Blacktown Arts Centre. Photo: George Tillianakis

Flâneurs performing at SOFT PEDAL II, Blacktown Arts Centre. Photo: George Tillianakis

Applications for COVID Development Grants are closed.

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Applications for COVID Development Grants will close on Thursday 30 September 2021.

Applications must be received by 5pm AEST on Thursday 30 September at 2021 to be eligible for assessment.

Applications received between 11 – 30 September 2021 will be assessed and applicants advised of the outcomes by end of October 2021.

Please note your project start date should be after 18 October 2021 to be deemed eligible.


The information on this page is the full program guidelines. Please read this information in full before completing your application form.

Apply now

To apply for funding you will need to complete and submit the relevant application form through our secure online grants system, SmartyGrants.


These grants aim to:

  • Provide targeted support to individuals and groups in the ‘small-to-medium’ sector in NSW in recognition of their role as important generators of cultural and artistic activity and crucial employers of artists across the state.
  • Mitigate the impact of disruption on the development of new works and collaborations by the small-to-medium sector in NSW
  • Improve working conditions and opportunities for individuals who are suffering loss of income and opportunities, requiring targeted support as part of the economic recovery in NSW.
  • Create greater sustainability for generating revenue and income in the cultural and creative sectors to build resilience against future shocks.

What can I apply for?

Funding is available for:

  • Creation, development and presentation of new works
  • Employment of artists or arts/culture workers
  • Skills development or training specific to your career, a project or initiative such as digital-upskilling
  • Marketing, fundraising and promotional costs
  • Workshops and other public programs
  • A component of the grant could be used to purchase of equipment or digital resources required to deliver new programs, projects including online/digital initiatives
  • Filmmaking, screen production, mainstream animation and film festivals.

How much can I apply for?

Two streams of funding are available under this program:

  • Individuals and Groups can apply for up to $5,000
  • Organisations can apply for up to $10,000


Note that clients eligible for the COVID $75 million Performing Arts package and/or in receipt of Create NSW multi-year funding are not eligible to apply for COVID Development Grants.

If you are a small community organisation who has already received funding through Rescue and Restart you will need to contact Create NSW before applying:

Individuals or Groups

  • Individual is Australian citizen, Australian permanent resident or a group located in Australia with Australian citizenship and/or permanent resident members and is a current resident of NSW. Must also be a professional artist or arts/cultural worker (including museum workers).
  • A Collaborative Group is two or more individuals working together on a project or program. Groups may be legally constituted or an informal working association. They may be an entity that exists long-term, or a project specific association. Both kinds of group are eligible to apply for Project Funding. It is recommended that a group have a formal agreement between members.

NOTE: you do not need an ABN to apply if you are applying as an individual or a group.

If applying as an Individual:

  • you can apply with no ABN but if successful will be required to either:
    • obtain an Individual/Sole Trader ABN OR
    • engage a Funds Administrator.

If applying as a Group:

  • you can provide a members’ Individual/Sole Trader ABN OR
  • a Partnership ABN OR
  • an Unincorporated Entity ABN.


    • NSW Small-medium arts and cultural organisation located in NSW.
    • Must be a defined arts and cultural activity.
    • Community groups legislated under Section 355 of the Local Government Act are eligible but must not receive core program or operational funding from their local council.
    • For-profit organisations may be eligible to apply provided the activities being applied for are delivered on a break-even (non-profit) basis and if they are seeking funds to pay for artists to participate.

NOTE: Company/Incorporated Association ABN’s will be considered as an Organisation. Organisations MUST have an ABN to apply.

Examples of eligible projects:

  • Individuals and Groups – seeking support for creating a new exhibition, developing new work performance, workshop program etc. To pay for artists fees, suppliers of materials, studio spaces, venue hire (if possible), purchase equipment that increases presentation opportunities
  • Organisations – to commission artists or groups of artists to create new work, marketing materials to promote, installation costs, broadcast costs, editors, cost of venue hire – organisations.

NOTE: Your project must start at least 3 weeks after your submission date. Projects that start before will be ineligible.

How will applications be assessed?

Assessment Criteria

1. Merit

The artistic rationale for the project, including details on:

  • what is the project about?
  • who is involved and why?
  • the reason for undertaking the project.

The quality and reputation of your previous artistic and/or cultural work, including the professional standing of the other artist/s and/or organisation/s involved.

2. Impact

  • how the project is relevant to the career and/or the practice and/or
  • how will the project impact on the development of new work or collaborations and if relevant how does the applicant intend to present and promote this project, including details of the potential audience demographics and numbers.

3. Viability

  • effective planning and use of resources
  • realistic and accurate project budget that represents value for money (which includes income from other sources than Create NSW and excludes items not eligible for funding).

Supporting material

Can be provided upon request after submission of application

Confirmation letters those from people or organisations the applicant is working with or who have invited the applicant for participation or collaboration, including venues, key sector contacts or other funding agencies.

At least ONE letter of support related to the project such as venue confirmation or residency confirmation.

Examples of your previous artistic works or examples relating to the project. These may be:

  • written material – limit: 10 pages
  • still images – limit: 10 images
  • audio/visual – limit: 3 minutes each file, in electronic format

For proposals involving Aboriginal communities, letters of support and confirmation of involvement from the relevant communities and/or organisations.

What happens after I submit my application?


You will receive an email confirmation from our secure online grants system.

Assessment Stage 1

Create NSW staff will assess all applications against the assessment criteria: Merit, Impact and Viability.

Assessment Stage 2

Create NSW staff will recommend applications based on:

  • how well they meet the assessment criteria
  • the range of recommended applications

This may include prioritising applicants living and/or working in regional NSW, people living and/or working in Western Sydney, Aboriginal people, people from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds, people with disability and young people. Priority will also be given to applicants who have not received funding from Create NSW in the last 12 months.

Create NSW may request further advice and/or clarification from applicants during the assessment process. Create NSW may also seek advice from the Artform Boards.

Assessment Stage 3

Final recommendations are submitted for the consideration of the NSW Minister for the Arts.

When will I know the outcome of my application? 

All applicants will be notified of the outcome of their applications approximately 3-4 weeks after they submit their application.

Image: Flâneurs performing at SOFT PEDAL II, Blacktown Arts Centre. Photo: George Tillianakis