Small Project Grants for Individuals and Groups

2023/24 Arts and Cultural Funding Program

Before Breakfast by Thomas Pasatieri. Photo by Clare Hawley, courtesy Sydney Fringe Festival 2022

Before Breakfast by Thomas Pasatieri. Photo by Clare Hawley, courtesy Sydney Fringe Festival 2022

Acknowledgement of Country

We acknowledge the Aboriginal peoples and traditional owners of the land we now call New South Wales, and we celebrate the history and contemporary creativity of the world’s oldest living culture.

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Key information

Small Project Grants (Quick Response)
Small Project Grants (Quick Response) supports professional development opportunities for NSW-based professional artists, groups and arts and cultural workers (including museum workers) that is time sensitive and responds to short notice opportunities with career-building significance.

Grant Amount: from $500 up to $5000.

Small Project Grants is open all year round but will have two (2) closure periods:

End of Year

  • 5pm Monday, 27 November 2023 to 9am Monday, 15 January 2024

End of Financial Year

  • 5pm Monday, 20 May 2024

Application Outcome
All eligible applicants will be notified via SmartyGrants email of the outcome of their applications 3-4 weeks after they submit their application.

Program Objective

  • Invest in NSW-based artists and arts/cultural workers (including museum workers) to participate in outstanding and relevant time-sensitive professional development opportunities
  • Increase the capacity of NSW-based artists and arts/cultural workers in becoming arts and cultural leaders
  • Enable artists, groups, 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 related to career development.


1. You must be an artist or arts/cultural worker (including a museum worker) who:

  • Is 18 years (at the time of applying) and above
  • Is an Australian citizen or permanent resident and
  • Has resided in NSW (New South Wales) for at least 12 months at the time of applying

2. Your project must be clearly related to the arts and culture sector.

Examples of activities:

  • Invitation to attend a forum, presentation, or performance opportunity statewide, nationally, or internationally
  • Mentorship or residency opportunity statewide, nationally, or internationally
  • A skills development initiative
  • Attendance at a significant arts and cultural event
  • Music videos, video art and videos for performance.

3. Your proposed activity must be time sensitive. It should:

  • Start 5 weeks after your application has been submitted
  • Be completed within a 4-month period after the start date you have entered in your application
  • Include confirmation supporting material to substantiate the urgency
  • Demonstrate why the activity can only take place in this timeframe and how it is a significant career opportunity
  • Address why your activity is unable to be planned for or supported by other Create NSW funding rounds.

You cannot apply if you:

  • Are an organisation (A legally constituted establishment with an ABN (Australian Business Number))
  • Have applied and/or received previous funding from Create NSW for the same stage/phase of professional development activity or project top-ups
  • Are a current employee of Create NSW or have been employed by Create NSW within the last 12 months.
  • Do not meet ABN requirements (see below)
  • Are seeking support for filmmaking, screen productions or film festivals. Please refer to Screen NSW regarding film sector funding opportunities.
  • Have been successful for one (1) Small Project Grant during the 23/24 Financial year.
  • Have already submitted two (2) Eligible Small Project Grants applications during the 23/24 Financial year.

You cannot apply to use funds for:

  • Activities that are carried out to satisfy the course requirements of an educational institution i.e., TAFE or university
  • Activities that directly support the delivery of an educational program or course
  • Arts and cultural activities that are led by non-professional artists or organisations
  • Reimbursement to recover costs of items already purchased (such as flights, accommodation, and materials)
  • Purchasing musical instruments, artworks, equipment (such as laptops, cameras, technical equipment, or machinery), or vehicles
  • Capital works (infrastructure/building activities). Please refer to Create Infrastructure regarding Capital works funding opportunities
  • Fundraising and donations, awards, competition entry fees or prize money
  • Repayment of loans
  • Filmmaking projects, screen productions or film festivals. Please refer to Screen NSW regarding film sector opportunities.

What your application needs to include

Assessment Criteria

You will need to address the following three (3) Assessment Criterion of Merit, Impact and Viability, along with supporting material in your application.

Please note: You have the option to answer the Merit and Impact Criteria as video submissions.

Merit Criteria: The project’s artistic rationale, goals, expected outcomes and artform and/ or project delivery experience.

Please tell us in detail:

  • The idea and vision of your proposed project
  • The process involved in delivering the project
  • The artist/s involved and their experience
  • The expected outcome/s and locations of the project.

Impact Criteria: how the activity enhances your artistic practice and career and why it is
time sensitive.

Tell us in detail:

  • Why the opportunity is important to your career development and practice, including if your activity meaningfully engages with Create NSW priority areas (see below)
  • Why the proposed activity is time sensitive and needs to be undertaken urgently, including any documentation supporting this claim.

Viability Criteria: the plan, timeline and how the budget will be managed.

Tell us in detail:

  • About the key dates, activities names, descriptions, and collaborators (if applicable) involved in your project.
  • How you will spend the funding amount you are requesting from Create NSW, including a breakdown of your total project costs (if applicable).

Support Material
You will be required to provide support material. This can include:

  • Letters of Offer/Invitation/Confirmation to attend an outstanding professional development opportunity
  • Artist CV (Curriculum Vitae) and/or short biographies
  • Sample of previous artistic works or current works relating to the opportunity
  • Letters of support/confirmation from artists and/or organisations that can confirm they are collaborating with you on the project
  • Letters of support from artist/s, organisations and/or communities who can speak to your project vision and your experience in project delivery
  • Travel, accommodation, and material quotes (see note below).

Please note: Quotes are optional but can include, hiring equipment, venue bookings, travel
and accommodation, and arts and cultural materials.

Start the Application

All applicants must apply via the secure online grants system, SmartyGrants. If you have any
technical difficulties, please call (02) 9228 4578.

For Individuals and Groups – Apply here

ABN Business Number (ABN) Requirements

As an Individual based in NSW are you applying with:

  • An Individual/Sole Trader ABN OR
  • If you are the sole director of a private company, the ABN for that company OR
  • A nominated Funds Administrator OR
  • None of the above, but, if successful, will obtain an Individual/Sole Trader ABN or engage a Funds Administrator

As a Group based in NSW are you applying with:

  • A group member’s Individual/Sole Trader ABN OR
  • A partnership ABN OR
  • An Unincorporated Entity ABN OR
  • A nominated Funds Administrator OR
  • None of the above, but, if successful, will obtain an eligible ABN or engage a Funds Administrator

Please note: Incorporated Associations, Companies (except sole directors of private companies) and Trusts are not eligible to apply as individuals or groups. These restrictions do not apply to Funds Administrators.

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 activity budget.

After the application is Submitted

Once your application has been submitted, you will receive an email confirmation from our secure online grants system, SmartyGrants.

Pre-eligibility check
Your application will be checked for eligibility.
If eligible, your application will proceed to the two (2) stage assessment process.

If your application is deemed ineligible, you will be advised via email within 14 days of the
from your submission and your application will not proceed to assessment.

Please note: You can withdraw your application at any time. Please email with your name and application number.

Assessment Stage 1
Create NSW staff will assess all eligible applications against the assessment criteria: Merit, Impact and Viability.

Assessment Stage 2
At Small Project Grants Assessment Meetings, Create NSW staff scores will be amalgamated and presented to determine final recommendations. Create NSW will consider the assessment criteria, the demographics, distribution, range, demand by artform and scale of the initial recommendations. This may include prioritising activities with outcomes that address the Arts and Cultural Funding Program (ACFP) Priority Areas (see below), to ensure equity across the State and the best outcomes for NSW Government investment.

Please note:

  • The NSW Government typically receives far more applications than it can support
  • You are not guaranteed funding even if your application meets the assessment criteria

Application Outcome

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

Successful Applicants

If your application is successful, you will be sent a Letter of Offer that outlines the conditions of funding, how you will be paid and your grant reporting requirements.

Payment will not be made until any Create NSW outstanding acquittals have been submitted. Please refer to Contracts and Payments information for the process regarding successful applications.

Funding Payment

For successful the timeframe of payment will be dependent on when the signed Letter of Offer has been returned to Create NSW, as well as any special conditions, variations or outstanding acquittals being satisfactorily completed.

Acknowledgement of Create NSW

As a recipient of Government funding, you will be expected to acknowledge the support from Create NSW in all professional development activity/s publications, promotional and advertising materials, public announcements, and professional development activities.

For more information, please read Create NSW Logo Guidelines and contact Melissa Keogh, Designer, Create NSW at for a copy of the logo package.

Unsuccessful Applicants

All applicants will be offered an opportunity to seek application feedback within a one-month period of receiving their notification outcome. Create NSW staff will provide a general round summary and application feedback, which can be via a call or an online meeting via Picktime.

Support and Contact


Create NSW is committed to Inclusion and Diversity and continues to apply practices that facilitate ease of access to applicants wishing to apply to the Arts and Cultural Funding Program.

If you or anyone on your creative team are d/Deaf, hard of hearing or who have a speech impairment and need to communicate over the phone, assistance is provided by National Relay Service.

Please note: To use the National Relay Service, you will need to register first, so you can make and receive calls.

The National Relay Service numbers are:

TTY users: Phone 133 677 then ask for (02) 9228 4578.
Speak and Listen users: Phone 1300 555 727 then ask for (02) 9228 4578.
Please contact Create NSW staff between 9am and 5pm Monday to Friday (excluding Public Holidays).

Accessible Arts

You may also contact Accessible Arts, the peak arts and disability organisation for NSW to
support your application.

Language Interpreting Service

If English is your second/third language and you would like to speak to Create NSW staff about the guidelines or application form, we can arrange an Interpreting Service to support this communication.

Please contact us between 9am and 5pm Monday to Friday:

Regional Arts Network
Regional NSW applicants can also contact their local Regional Arts Development Organisation for assistance with applications.

Application Support Resources

Create NSW has provided the following documents to help you with your funding application:

Create NSW Staff Support

Create NSW staff are available to provide information to applicants on the interpretation of these Guidelines, including the types of eligible projects for funding and advice on the application process.

Create NSW staff are here to help you and can be contacted between 9am and 5pm Monday to Friday (excluding public holidays) via:

  • Telephone: (02) 9228 4578
  • Scheduling an online meeting to speak to Create staff through Picktime
  • Create NSW website – Arts Funding team
  • Email:

NSW Aboriginal Arts & Culture Protocols

Create NSW acknowledges cultural business through the NSW Aboriginal Arts & Cultural Protocols in support of a strong and vibrant Aboriginal cultural sector. Create NSW supports the priorities of First Nations self-determination, cultural integrity and agency while continuing the management,  maintaining and preservation of their arts and cultural practices.

The NSW Aboriginal Arts and Culture Protocols is a best practice guide for all artists, groups and organisations that have Aboriginal cultural content within their projects/programs.

There are Five Principles:

1. Cultural Authority and Agency

  • Where does the ownership lie within the project/program and who controls the direction that the project/program takes?

2. Recognising Rights and Maintaining Culture

  • Are the rights of people being acknowledged and protected?

3. Prior Informed Consent and Consultation

  • Are Aboriginal people being engaged in the right way and are their wishes being observed?

4. Integrity of Aboriginal Culture

  • Is cultural knowledge and information being respected and managed in the right way?

5. Attribution and Sharing Benefits

  • Are the right people getting the benefits?

The NSW Aboriginal Arts and Culture Protocols have been developed as a living document, Create NSW will continue to work with the NSW Aboriginal arts and cultural sector to update the protocols to remain current and ensuring continual growth.

The Protocols can be found here.

NSW ACFP Priority Areas

The NSW Government is committed to ensuring fair access by all communities and individuals across the state. Create NSW prioritises proposals that provide high-quality activity, respectful engagement, and participation with and for the following groups:

  • NSW Aboriginal people
  • people from culturally and linguistically diverse (CaLD) backgrounds
  • people with disability and/or who are d/Deaf
  • young people under the age of 25
  • people living and/or working in regional NSW
  • people living and/or working in Western Sydney

Other Information can be found here:

  • Complaints process
  • Privacy Policy
  • Government Information (Public Access) Act 2009


Every effort has been made to ensure that this publication is free from error and/or omission at the date of publication. The authors, publisher and any person involved in the preparation of this publication takes no responsibility for loss occasioned to any person acting or refraining from action as a result of information contained herein.

Image: Before Breakfast by Thomas Pasatieri. Photo by Clare Hawley, courtesy Sydney Fringe Festival 2022