Project funding guidelines

Arts and Cultural Funding Program 2019/20

Sleep, Perchance to Dream, Tantrum Youth Theatre. Photo by Madeline Parker.

Sleep, Perchance to Dream, Tantrum Youth Theatre. Photo by Madeline Parker.

Applications are now closed.

<Back to Arts and Cultural Funding Program

Project funding supports excellence, innovation and creativity within the NSW arts and cultural sector. It aims to deliver a dynamic and diverse range of arts and cultural experiences to communities across NSW, contribute to the development of a vibrant and accessible arts and cultural sector, and support the employment and development of professional NSW-based artists and arts and cultural workers.

Funding is available for a wide range of arts and cultural activity, including:

  • creation of new work, practice-based research or experimentation and professional development
  • production, exhibition, presenting, publishing or recording, touring and festivals
  • promotion and marketing, market and/or audience development activity
  • conservation and/or development of collections and archives (including Aboriginal Keeping Places and the digitisation of collections)
  • purchase of capital infrastructure and equipment
  • partnerships, capacity building and sustainability.

Funding is not available under this program for filmmaking, screen production, mainstream animation or film festivals (see for funding opportunities in this area).


The information on this page is a guide only. We recommend reading the full guidelines before completing your application.

Download the Project funding guidelines here.

Download the accessible version here.

Download the Performing Arts Touring additional information.

Apply now

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

Who can apply for funding?

You must be an:

  • Australian citizen; or
  • permanent resident; or
  • organisation/group located in Australia.

How much funding is available?

There is no upper limit to the amount of funding you may request.

However, to be competitive, you must provide a level of detail in your written application, support material and budget appropriate to the level of your funding request (see assessment criteria below).

This expectation will vary according to the following levels of your funding request:

  • applying for less than $20,000
  • applying for at least $20,000 but less than $140,000
  • applying for $140,000 or more.

You may not request funding for the total cost of your project. You must include an independent financial contribution (cash and/or in kind) from other sources.

How will my application be assessed?

You must address the following three assessment criteria:

1. Project Merit

This will include areas such as:

  • the artistic rationale and/or vision for the project
  • the articulation of creative process and/or project delivery
  • the quality and reputation of previous work
  • how the project engages NSW artists, and arts and cultural workers
  • how the project provides arts and cultural experiences to the people of NSW
  • how the project profiles NSW/Australian stories, voices and practices
  • how the project contributes to the creative and cultural profile of NSW
  • your adherence to Aboriginal cultural protocols (where relevant).

2. Project Impact

This provides applicants to choose one of the following impact areas:

  • social impact
  • cultural impact
  • audience impact
  • operational impact.

3. Project Viability

This will include areas such as your budget, project plan, governance arrangements, scaled according to the size of your request.

When will I know if my application is successful?

All applicants will be notified of the outcome of their applications publicly or under embargo no later than the following dates:


  • Touring (performing arts) projects only: Friday 31 October 2019
  • All other projects: Friday 6 December 2019.

All successful Round 1 projects can start after 31 January 2020.


  • All projects (including touring performing arts): Friday 19 June 2020 notification

All successful Round 2 projects can start after 1 August 2020.

What support is available to me?

Resources will be made available to assist you with your funding application. Contact a staff member if you need any advice between 9am and 5pm Monday to Friday:

Telephone: (02) 8289 6520


If you are an applicant with disability, and you require this information in a format which is accessible to you, or if you require this information in another language, you can contact us on the details above between 9am and 5pm Monday to Friday.

The National Relay service numbers are:

TTY users: Phone 133 677 then ask for (02) 8289 6520

Speak and Listen users: Phone 1300 555 727 then ask for (02) 8289 6520

Internet Relay users: Connect to NES then ask for (02) 8289 6520

Image: Sleep, Perchance to Dream, Tantrum Youth Theatre. Photo by Madeline Parker.
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