Small Project Grants for Make Music Day 2021

Part of The Festival of Place 2021

Create NSW Make Music Day 2019, EORA College at Grand Concourse, Central Station. Image by Create NSW.

Create NSW Make Music Day 2019, EORA College at Grand Concourse, Central Station. Image by Create NSW.

Applications for Small Project Grants for Make Music Day 2021 are closed.

<Back to Arts and Cultural Funding Program

Updated Tuesday 27 April 2021.


The information on this page is the full guidelines and will not be made available as a download. We recommend reading the full guidelines on this page before completing your application.

Apply now

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

Key dates

Applications opened: Wednesday 28 April 2021

Applications closed: Sunday 16 May 2021 at 11:59 PM AEST

Notification of successful applications: Monday 24 May 2021

Activities must take place: Sunday 20 June and/or Monday 21 June 2021

Late applications cannot be accepted as the assessment process commences immediately after the deadline.


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 below between 9am and 5pm Monday to Friday.

Telephone: (02) 8289 6520
Contact the Arts Funding team directly

Create NSW staff are available to provide information to potential applicants on interpretation of these Guidelines, including types of projects eligible for funding and advice on the online application process. Staff cannot help directly with your application. To maintain a fair and equitable process, staff are unable to edit or correct any applications.

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


Make Music Day  is a global celebration of music making across more than 1000 cities around the world and is now in its fourth year in NSW. Make Music Day (MMD) is an opportunity to showcase the joy of music – for musicians and audiences across NSW.

On 20 and 21 June, we are celebrating FREE music in public spaces for audiences around the State; on street corners, in parks, libraries, gardens and town squares. Usually held on one day internationally, as it falls on a Monday this year, we’ve extended it to two days to ensure as many people as possible can enjoy MMD2021.

To support your MMD2021 event or activity, Create NSW has partnered with the Department of Planning, Industry and Environment as part of The Festival of Place to offer Small Project Grants of $15,000.  A total of $90,000 will be available to support six programs to be held across NSW.

The Festival of Place celebrates the importance, breadth, beauty and possibilities of public spaces across NSW. A place-based, citizen-led and multidisciplinary festival that celebrates great public spaces, the stories that enrich them and bind us together.

Find out more about Create NSW’s involvement in Make Music Day.

Find out more about the Department of Planning, Industry and Environment’s involvement in Make Music Day and The Festival of Place.

The grant aims to:

  • Celebrate NSW based musicians on a worldwide day of music FREE to the public
  • Activate precincts and public spaces with NSW musicians and music
  • Increase awareness of women in contemporary music
  • Encourage the people of NSW to enjoy free live music in public spaces on Make Music Day.

There are six grants of $15,000 each available for applicants to deliver a program of music on Sunday 20 June and/or Monday 21 June 2021.

The programs must be a curated program of events and music performances by NSW-based musicians.

Your program must be free to the public, held in a public space, employ NSW musicians and meet all legal requirements and legislation. If you have any questions about this, our Make Music Day team can provide you with further advice.


These grants will support musicians, arts workers, and producers for delivering the event, any costs associated with the presentation and promotion of a professional event on Sunday 20 June and/or Monday 21 June 2021.

You can apply for $15,000. At least $10,000 of the funding must be allocated to the payment of musicians.

Who can apply for funding?

Applicants can be:

  • Individuals
  • Groups of artists or organisations** (both not-for-profit and for-profit^)
  • Promoters, agents and managers of bands, performers and other contemporary musicians
  • Create NSW designated Major Performing Arts company, State Significant Organisation, State Cultural Institution or Key Festival*
  • Local Government Authority
  • An educational institution (including preschools, primary and secondary schools).

**Organisations already in receipt of Program Funding from Create NSW are eligible to apply, however, the project must sit outside their core activities and those already covered in their Create NSW Funding Agreement.

All individual applicants must reside in NSW or, for organisations, have a registered office address in NSW.

Applicants either must have an ABN or be administered by an entity with an ABN.

^For-profit organisations are eligible to apply if the activity takes place on a break-even basis.

Applications are encouraged from:

  • Venues, arts and cultural organisations
  • Presenters, promoters and producers, public space managers
  • Musicians and bands
  • Local and State Governments, Land Councils, NSW based business chambers

Applicants are encouraged to program a diversity of musicians and priority will be given to programs that include women musicians.

What can I apply for funding for?


Programs must present live music performances at any time on the required days but must be free and in a public space.

Examples of funding opportunities could include, but are not limited to:

  • A presentation of a live curated event of music at a dedicated area in a park such as an amphitheatre or bandstand
  • A small stage in a library for individual musicians to perform
  • A roving band of musicians performing on the main street or mall.

Eligible costs

Applications can request support for costs associated with presenting live performance events.

You cannot apply if you are already receiving funding from Create NSW for the same project.

This covers a range of expenses including:

  • NSW musician fees – these must be based on Industry rates (At least $10,000 of the funding must be allocated to the payment of musicians)
  • temporary staging and equipment hire
  • crew and production wages
  • documentation and live streaming of the live event
  • contribute to the costs of implementation of a COVID safety plan, risk management plans and permits
  • marketing and promotion costs.

Funding cannot be used for the following:

  • Fees for artists or musicians from interstate or overseas
  • Purchase of instruments or equipment
  • Venue operational costs such as existing management fees, rent and bar upkeep
  • Renovations and the purchase of capital
  • Other any items that Create NSW deems inappropriate.

How will my application be assessed?

Applications will be assessed internally by NSW Government staff; however, advice may be sought from the Create NSW Contemporary Music Artform Board if necessary.

Assessment criteria

Applications will be assessed against the following criteria:

1. Project Merit

Your application should demonstrate:

  • the artistic merit of the musicians and event
  • experience of the applicant to organise the event

2. Project Impact

Your application should demonstrate:

  • how you intend to present and promote your Make Music Day program

3. Project Viability

Your application should demonstrate:

  • effective planning and use of resources, including details of the venue or spaces to be activated
  • realistic and accurate project budget

Support material

These may include confirmation letters or letters of support related to the program such as letters from venues, partners, key sector contacts or other funding agencies. These letters must be provided as one document.

Application process

You will apply through the Create NSW SmartyGrants.

Assessment process

You will receive an automated response from our secure online grants system once your application has been submitted. All applications then proceed through an assessment process as outlined below.

Eligibility check

Once received through the online grants system, all applications will undergo an eligibility check.

Eligible applications proceed to the assessment process.

If you are deemed ineligible, you will be advised in writing within a few days of your submission date and your application will not proceed to assessment.

Assessment Stage 1

All applications will be assessed against three assessment criteria: Merit, Impact and Viability.

Assessment Stage 2

Create NSW staff will make final recommendations with reference to the assessment criteria, artform, demographics and the distribution, range and scale of recommended applicants.

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.

In 2021 this will also include prioritising applications that promote and support women in the music industry including musicians, producers, promoters, presenters, venue operators and production crew.

Prioritisation of recommended applicants ensures equity across the state and the best outcomes for NSW Government investment.

Further advice and/or clarification may be requested from applicants by Create NSW during the assessment process.

When will I know the outcome of my application?

All applicants will be notified of the outcome of their applications by 24 May 2021.

What happens if my application is successful?

If you are successful:

  • you must acknowledge Make Music Day in your promotion and be registered on the Make Music Day page
  • in addition, your event must include recognition of this grant by including the following lines and logos: Supported by the NSW Government through Create NSW and the Department of Planning, Industry and Environment as part of the Festival of Place (NSW Government logo), celebrating Make Music Day 2021 (Make Music Day logo).

Successful applicants will be required to sign a funding agreement that covers the following:

Acceptance: Return a signed contract, and completed invoice, within two weeks of receipt.

Payment: Will be in line with State Government payment processes – all attempts will be made to pay successful applicants no later than 4 weeks after notification.

Timing: Your activity must be held on Sunday 20 June and/or Monday 21 June 2021

Reporting: Reporting requirements will be appropriate to the scale of funding received. You will need to complete an acquittal report within two months of the Project ending.

What support is available to me?

Resources are available to assist you with your funding application.

You can also contact the Create NSW Arts Funding team members:

Kartika Suharto-Martin: (Monday – Wednesday)
Nick Santoro: (Wednesday – Friday)

Please read the frequently asked questions.

If you are applying for activity that involves working with Aboriginal communities or Aboriginal cultural heritage, please refer to Create NSW’s Aboriginal Arts and Cultural Protocols.

We also recommend that you sign up to the Create NSW e-Newsletter to stay informed of updates via the top right-hand-side of our website.

Create NSW staff are available to provide information to potential applicants on interpretation of these Guidelines, including types of projects eligible for funding and advice on the online application process. Staff cannot help directly with your application. To maintain a fair and equitable process, staff are unable to edit or correct any applications.


A Professional Artist/Worker has:

  • A commitment to arts/cultural work as a major aspect of their working life (even if this work is not the main source of their income)
  • A degree of training, experience or manner of working that allows their work to be assessed against the highest practiced standards in their relevant artform or discipline.

A Group is two or more professional artists collaborating on project/s with an arts/cultural outcome. 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 this funding.

Public Space:

Public Space guides and shapes our experience of the towns and cities where we live, work and visit, filling them with vibrancy and energy as we connect, interact and share with others. It begins the moment you leave your front door and connects us to both work and leisure, and public and personal life.

Quality green, open and public spaces are important to everyone. They are our free parks, gardens and sports fields, walkable shady streets, libraries, museums and galleries, which form the heart of our communities. Public Spaces delight and connect people. They support our health and well-being, environmental resilience and prosperous local economies. Public spaces are all places publicly owned or of public use, accessible and enjoyable by all for free. They include our open spaces, public facilities and streets.

Public open spaces – both active and passive – include parks, gardens, playgrounds, public beaches, riverbanks and waterfronts, outdoor playing fields and courts, and publicly accessible bushland.

Public facilities include public libraries, museums, galleries, civic/community centres, showgrounds and indoor public sports facilities.

Streets, avenues and boulevards; squares and plazas; pavements; passages and lanes, and bicycle paths.

Image: Create NSW Make Music Day 2019, EORA College at Grand Concourse, Central Station. Image by Create NSW.