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.

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Updated Wednesday 20 January 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.

Please note that your project start date must be at least three weeks after the date you submit your application or your application will be deemed ineligible.


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.


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. (Please see Definitions at the bottom of this page).

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

Important notice: Small Project Grants (Quick Response) program and Public Health Orders.

As relevant updates are provided by the NSW Government, Create NSW’s Small Project Grants program will be redefined to address the public health orders.

The grant aims to:

  • enable professional artists and arts and cultural workers to participate in outstanding time-sensitive opportunities, including those offered via online and other means than in-person contact
  • build the capacity and skills of professional artists and arts and cultural workers including, but not limited to, online mentoring, development and residency opportunities
  • support professional artists and arts and cultural workers to develop new projects/work
  • support professional artists to explore the possibilities of presenting work in ways that is consistent with public health orders
  • support professional artists to respond to the impacts of the 2019 bushfire season and COVID-19 crises, for 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.

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. (Please see Definitions at the bottom of this page).

2. Project focus

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

You are ineligible to apply for a Small Project Grant (Quick Response) if:

  • 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 or period
  • 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.

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 impacts your career and practice
  • how you intend to present/promote your work in the short-term or long-term future.

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 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 Boards with regards to applications.

When will I know the outcome of my application?

All applicants will be notified of the outcome of their applications approximately 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 scheduled activity cannot commence while your application is being assessed. Please allow for 3 weeks from the submission of your application before starting your activity, otherwise your application will be deemed ineligible. Your activity must be completed by 31 December 2021.

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.

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 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/Arts 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 working together on a project program with an arts/cultural outcome.

Eligibility Considerations

If applying as an Individual:

  • Your ABN must show that your entity is Individual/Sole Trader

If you are applying as a Group:

  • You must apply using one of your members’ Individual/Sole Trader ABN and provide your group name or the names of each individual group member.

Other information

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