Small Project Grants (Quick Response) for Individuals guidelines

Arts and Cultural Funding Program

These Birds Have been Through A Lot, Kylie Caldwell, weaving 2020. Photo by Kate Holmes.

These Birds Have been Through A Lot, Kylie Caldwell, weaving 2020. Photo by Kate Holmes.

Applications for Small Project Grants (Quick Response) are open.

Important: Please note that the last round of Small Project Grants for the 2021/2022 financial year will be from 10 May 2022 and close 5pm 30 May 2022. Applicants will be notified in mid-June with payment from mid-June 2022 (as long all information provided is correct).

 The new 2022/23 round will open on 6 June 2022 and applicants in the first round will be notified in July 2022. Please allow for longer assessment times during this period.

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Accessibility, Inclusion and Support

If you need this information in another format or language, or if you need support on the guidelines or application form, please contact us between 9am and 5pm Monday to Friday:

You can also access the Accesshub and the National Relay Service.

You can also find other resources, including the Making an Application Help Guide. here.

To increase accessibility parts of the application are able to be provided as video submissions.


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


Please note that there have been some changes to the Small Project Grants guidelines and application form so it is essential to read the guidelines before proceeding with your application. The Key Changes are:

  • You will now be able to submit a video response to the Merit and Impact criteria;
  • Greater clarification and changes to eligibility requirements;
  • Increased focus on time sensitivity of your activity;
  • New, improved application form

This grant will be redefined to address the public health orders as relevant updates are provided by the NSW Government.

Please note that each year the Small Project Grants will have delayed notification timelines of up 6 weeks during the Christmas Holiday Period (December/January) and during the change over of financial year (June/July). Specific dates of these extended notification periods may be published on the website closer to these dates.

Apply now

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


Small Project Grants (Quick Response) funding aims to:

  • Enable artists and arts/cultural workers (including museum workers) to participate in outstanding and relevant time-sensitive opportunities
  • Contribute to the creation, development and/or presentation of new work
  • Improve the capacity of professionals working in NSW to become arts and cultural leaders.

Funding of between $500 and $5000 is available to support NSW-based professional artists and arts/cultural workers (including museum workers) to build their capability, portfolio of work, audience and/or market.

Project Types

Examples of projects that may be funded include but not limited to:

  • Mentoring, skills development or residency opportunities;
  • research and/or development of creative/cultural projects that develop new skills and/or engage with new ways of working including new approaches to museum practice, generating new income from your creative skills and forming cross multi-disciplinary performances;
  • an outstanding arts and/or cultural opportunity, such as performing or presenting a work at a nationally or internationally recognised festival, industry event or exhibition; and
  • development of new work that would expand their audience.

Funding is not available for:

  • assisting with study for a university degree or other formal qualification (such as a certification)
  • recovering the costs of items and materials already purchased
  • the purchase of musical instruments, artworks, equipment or vehicles
  • capital works
  • fundraising, awards or prize money
  • repayment of loans

Eligibility requirements

To be eligible for a Small Project Grant you need to meet the following three criteria:

1. Applicant type

Individual or group applicant/s must:

  • Be an Australian citizen or permanent resident and
  • Be a professional artist or an arts/cultural worker (including museum workers) with
    • a commitment to arts and cultural work as a major aspect of their working life (even if this work is not the main source of their income) and
    • 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 and
  • Have been residing in NSW over the last 12 months.

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

All other ABN’s are ineligible, including Company/Incorporated Association ABN’s.

2. Project focus

Your project must be a clearly defined arts and cultural project.

3. Timing

Your project must be urgent or time-sensitive, with funds being needed within 3 months of applying*

*You will need to provide evidence of the timing as part of your application. If you have a project that is not urgent, please consider applying to Project Funding (individuals). Your project start date must be at least three weeks after the date you submit your application, or it will be deemed ineligible.

Other eligibility considerations

You are ineligible to apply for Small Project Grants if:

  • you have received funding from Create NSW for the same stage of the project^
  • you are applying for filmmaking, screen production, mainstream animation or film festivals (see for funding opportunities in this area)*
  • your project contravenes advice from the Federal or NSW State Government in relation to public health orders.
  • your ABN entity is not as listed above

^Funding for a new stage of a project will be considered, such as the presentation of an installation or a playscript. This also includes presentation of works that may have been presented elsewhere such as a tour.

How will my application be assessed?

Assessment Criteria

You can respond either by using written text or by submitting short videos.

You must address the following three assessment criteria by demonstrating the following:

1. Merit

Your application should demonstrate:

  • The artistic rationale for the project, including details on:
    • what is your project about?
    • who is involved and why?
    • how have you prepared for it?
    • 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

Your application should demonstrate:

  • how the project is relevant to your career and practice
  • how the timing of this project is important to where you are at in your career, including why it must be undertaken urgently.

3. Viability

Your application should demonstrate:

  • 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

You will also need to attach files that support your application. These include:

  • Confirmation letters those from people or organisations you are working with or who have invited you for participation or collaboration, including venues, key sector contacts or other funding agencies
  • At least ONE letter of support related to your project such as venue confirmation or residency confirmation
  • Examples of your previous artistic works or examples relating to your 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.
  • Budget explanation and/or quotes.

What happens after I submit my application?


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

Eligibility check

If eligible, your application will proceed to the two-stage assessment process (below).

If ineligible, you will be advised in writing within 14 days of your submission date and your application will not proceed to assessment.

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.

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*.

*Applications received on 1 May 2021 and onwards may receive an outcome in the new financial year.

What happens if my application is successful?

Please see information for successful applicants for further information.

How do I get feedback on my application?

When you are notified of the outcome of your application, you will also be provided with information on how to receive feedback.

What support is available to me?

Resources are available to assist you with your funding application, including a list of frequently asked questions.

You can also view the list of previous grant recipients.

If you are applying for a project that involves working with Aboriginal communities or Aboriginal cultural heritage, please refer to Fact Sheet: Engaging with Aboriginal Artists and Communities.

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

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

Funds Administration

An administrative body/third party (e.g. manager, agent or producing organisation) can receive and administer funds on your behalf. You may be asked for a fee for this service and it is recommended that you include that fee in your project budget.


You can find definitions for terms in the glossary.

Image: These Birds Have been Through A Lot, Kylie Caldwell, weaving 2020. Photo by Kate Holmes.
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