Health and Wellbeing Initiative (COVID-19, Quick Response) Guidelines

Arts and Cultural Funding Program 2019/20

BreakOut My Pelvic Sorcery (BOMPS). Artist posing as a participant, Empathy Clinic, The Big Anxiety Festival, UNSW galleries 2019. Photo by John A Douglas & Eugenie Lee.

BreakOut My Pelvic Sorcery (BOMPS). Artist posing as a participant, Empathy Clinic, The Big Anxiety Festival, UNSW galleries 2019. Photo by John A Douglas & Eugenie Lee.

Applications for the Health and Wellbeing Initiative are now closed.

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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.


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
Direct contact details to the Arts Funding team.

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

Apply now

This rounds is now closed.


The Health and Wellbeing Initiative supports the creation, development and presentation of creative practice and programming online, and other forms of broadcast, to support mental health and wellbeing outcomes. It is open to individual artists, arts and cultural and medical/health organisations in NSW.

Individuals and Organisations can apply for between $500 and $10,000 for projects and programs. Create NSW’s new Health and Wellbeing Initiative has been developed in response to public health orders relating to COVID-19. It responds to arts organisation and industry needs to engage with creative practice that supports health and wellbeing of artists, audiences and communities.

NSW Government – Coronavirus (COVID-19).

Arts, culture and health sector organisations focused on developing and advocating programs for vulnerable and at-risk communities, and people with lived experience of mental health, disability, or social marginalisation are encouraged to apply. Artists with disability, chronic illness and lived experience of mental health are also encouraged to apply.

The Health and Wellbeing Initiative supports artists and organisations to develop/produce/curate/present a range of (non-exhaustive) activities listed below:

  • Creative projects/programs for promoting wellness and relieving anxiety and depression
  • Online networks/community interaction spaces for sharing creative practice
  • Online creative spaces for communities of specific shared experience
  • Podcast or videocast development and programming
  • Online workshops/dance classes/movement classes/tutorials for creative community participation
  • Provision for employing a digital expert to bring your creative community programming online.

When can I apply for funding?

The Health and Wellbeing Initiative grant opens on Tuesday 28 April and closes at 5pm AEST, Tuesday 19 May 2020.

Your project may start as soon as you are notified of the outcome of your application.

Who can apply for funding?

To be eligible for a Health and Wellbeing Initiative grant you need to meet the following criteria:

  1. Applicant type

You must be either:

  • an arts and/or cultural organisation
  • a medical/health organisation with arts programming
  • an artist or artist group; and
  • be based in NSW.
  1. Project focus

Your project must be a clearly defined arts and cultural activity with health and wellbeing outcomes.

You are ineligible to apply for a Health and Wellbeing Initiative Grant if:

  • 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)
  • Your project contravenes advice from the Federal or NSW State Government in relation to COVID-19 restrictions. If you are undertaking work that requires you or your artists or employees to leave their place of residence, you must provide evidence that it is both safe and lawful for this to take place.

Funds administration

Successful applicants will be contracted and paid by Create NSW within a month of the application being assessed.

Artists or artist groups may engage an administrative body/third party (e.g. manager, agent or producing organisation) to receive and administer funds on their behalf. It is recommended that a fee for this service be included in the 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 creative/artistic and health/wellbeing rationale for the project
  • the quality and reputation of your/the organisation and your/its programming/previous work – particularly as it relates to health and wellbeing outcomes and digital/broadcast capacity.
  1. Project Impact

Your application should demonstrate:

  • how your project will impact your organisation, artists, audiences or your community
  • an identified area of need in the community of artists and/or audiences that you/your organisation usually services, which this application addresses.
  1. Project Viability

Your application should demonstrate:

  • effective planning, use of resources and demonstrated ability or planned skills development to deliver programs to your intended audience/community in the digital or broadcast realm
  • a realistic and accurate project budget.

Assessment process

You/The organisation 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.

The NSW Government typically receives far more applications than it can support and even if your application meets the assessment criteria, you are not guaranteed funding. If you are successful, your application may not be funded to the amount you have requested.

When will I know if my application is successful?

All applicants will be notified of the outcome of their applications no later than the week commencing Monday 1 June 2020.

What happens if my application is successful?

Successful applicants/organisations 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 after notification of the outcome of your application, before 31 August 2020 and be completed within 12 months of commencing.
  • 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-News to stay informed of updates via our website.

Image: BreakOut My Pelvic Sorcery (BOMPS). Artist posing as a participant, Empathy Clinic, The Big Anxiety Festival, UNSW galleries 2019. Photo by John A Douglas & Eugenie Lee.