Small Project Grants (Quick Response) guidelines

Arts and Cultural Funding Program 2019/20

Simone Slattery, King Island Festival of Arts, Culture and Environment, 2019. Photo by: Anthony Albrecht and courtesy of the artist.

Simone Slattery, King Island Festival of Arts, Culture and Environment, 2019. Photo by: Anthony Albrecht and courtesy of the artist.

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

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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. Open at 5pm on Monday 11 November.


Small Project Grants support the creation, development and presentation of new work and professional development or promotion for NSW-based professional artists and arts and cultural workers.

You can apply for between $500 and $5000 towards your project.

Important Notice: Changes to the Small Project Grants Program and COVID-19. Last updated 23 March 2020 at 4pm AEDT. 

Applicants will be notified of the outcome of their applications no later than 3 weeks after you submit your application.

Until June 2020, or as relevant updates are provided by the NSW Government – Coronavirus (COVID-19), Create NSW’s Small Project Grants have been redefined to address the current situation of social distancing and the cancellation of non-essential travel. They will:

  • enable professional artists and arts and cultural workers to attend or participate in outstanding time-sensitive opportunities in local, online and other means than in-person contact
  • build the capacity and skills of professional artists and arts and cultural workers, through solo, local and online mentoring, development and residency opportunities
  • support professional artists and arts and cultural workers to develop work in local contexts, and explore the possibilities of presenting work online, through broadcast or through other means than in-person contact
  • respond to the impacts of the 2019 bushfire season and Covid-19 crises, for their local communities, in supportive and creative ways.
  • strengthen the capacity of NSW-based professional artists and arts and cultural workers to become arts and cultural leaders

In addition, organisations and clients currently in receipt of Create NSW funding but experiencing hardship in delivery, can now apply for a small grant to support individual artists involved in their program.

When can I apply for funding?

Small Project Grants opened on Monday 11 November 2019 and close at 5pm on Tuesday 30 June 2020 (or before this date if funds are expended). Applications may be submitted at any time during this period.

Your project must start at least three weeks after the date you submit your application.

Small Project Grants will remain open during the *holiday shutdown, however outcomes for applications submitted during this period will not be advised until the week of 20 January 2020.

If your project has a start date prior to the 20 January 2020, please note that you may not know the outcome of your application prior to the beginning of your activity. If your project dates are flexible, it is recommended that you reapply to the 2019/20 Small Projects Grants funding program with new project dates. Please contact Create NSW’s Arts Investment & Development Team on (02) 8289 6520 or for advice regarding this.

*Holiday shutdown: 5pm on Friday 13 December 2019 until midnight on Sunday 5 January 2020.

Who can apply for funding?

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

1. Applicant type

You must be an:

  • Australian citizen; or
  • permanent resident; and
  • an individual/group located in NSW.

2. Project focus

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

You are ineligible to apply for a Small Project Grant if:

  • you are an organisation
  • your activities take place within the three weeks following the date of your submission
  • your project has commenced or already taken place
  • you are already receiving funding from Create NSW for the same project
  • you are applying for filmmaking, screen production, mainstream animation or film festivals (see for funding opportunities in this area).

Funds Administration

You may engage an administrative body/third party (e.g. manager, agent or producing organisation) to receive and administer funds on your behalf. It is recommended that a fee for this service be included in your project budget.

How will my application be assessed?

Assessment Criteria

You must address the following three assessment criteria:

1. Project Merit

Your application should demonstrate:

  • the artistic rationale for the project
  • the quality and reputation of your previous work.

2. Project Impact

Your application should demonstrate:

  • how the activity/opportunity impacts on your career and practice
  • why you need to undertake this activity at this time.

3. Project Viability

Your application should demonstrate:

  • effective planning and use of resources
  • realistic and accurate project budget.

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 two-stage assessment process.

If you are deemed 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 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 (CaLD) backgrounds, people with disability and young people. 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. Create NSW may seek further advice from representatives of the Artform Advisory Boards with regards to applications.

When will I know if my application is successful?

All applicants will be notified of the outcome of their applications no later than 3 weeks after they submit their application.

What happens if my application is successful?

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.

Publicity: The NSW Government must be acknowledged in any marketing/publicity collateral.

Timing: Your activity must commence at least three weeks from the date you submit your application and be completed by 31 December 2020.

Reporting: Reporting requirements will be appropriate to the scale of funding received.

Overdue acquittals: If you have received a grant or administered a grant from Arts NSW/Create NSW in the past and that grant has not been satisfactorily acquitted, payment of new funding may be delayed until acquittal has been submitted and approved.

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

Contact a staff member if you need any advice between 9am and 5pm Monday to Friday:

Telephone: (02) 8289 6520

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.


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

Other information

Image: Simone Slattery, King Island Festival of Arts, Culture and Environment, 2019. Photo by: Anthony Albrecht and courtesy of the artist.
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