Frequently asked questions
You can submit one application to each closing date for Major Commissioning Projects.
You will receive your grant payment within two weeks of accepting your funding agreement. Please note we pay our grants in the financial year which they are approved. We will not adjust payment timelines to the particular circumstances of individuals.
The deadline for applications is at 3:00pm AET on the closing date. We strongly recommend submitting before this. Administrative and technical support is only available during office hours (Monday-Friday) 9am to 5 pm AET. Late applications will not be accepted.
We do not accept applications submitted via post. Any material received by post will not be assessed and will be returned to the sender. If you think you will have difficulty submitting your application online, please contact Artists Services.
We do not amend, correct, update or change any part of your application once it has been submitted. However, if you receive additional confirmations for activities or artists after the closing date you may alert us to these, and we may bring them to the attention of peer assessors at the assessment meeting. These updates could include confirmation that a proposed activity will take place, a partnership has been secured, or funding from another source has been received.
You can update us about such confirmations by contacting us. Briefly describe the nature of the confirmation and cite your application reference number. You do not need to send us copies of confirmation emails from third parties – if we need to see evidence of the confirmation we will request it.
If you wish to update your application once it has been submitted, but the closing date has not yet passed, you can submit a new, updated application and request to withdraw the original one by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
Grant applications can be found and are submitted through our online system. If you are using the system for the first time you will need to register your details before filling out a grant application form.
Applicants will be notified of the outcome of their application approximately 12 weeks after the closing date.
We define a ‘group’ as two or more individuals who do not form a legally constituted organisation. This can include co-collaborators and collectives.
If you are successful in receiving a Major Commissioning Projects grant in 2023 you will not be eligible to apply for:
- VACS Major Commissioning Projects until 2027
- Arts Projects for Individuals and Groups until the September closing date in 2025.
The Visual Arts and Crafts Strategy invests in individuals and groups that are Australian citizens or permanent residents only.
We provide funding to practising artists. While you may not regularly earn income from your practice, you must be identified and recognised by your peers as a practising artist.
No. If you have an overdue grant acquittal you will not be eligible to apply for any further grants.
No. Only Australian citizens and Australian permanent residents may apply to the Australia Council for funding. Foreign nationals who are permitted to live and work in Australia by holding visas such as a Special Category visa or a Bridging visa are not eligible to apply.
No. You must reside in New South Wales, Queensland, South Australia, Victoria, Australian Capital Territory or Northern Territory to apply.
Yes. Early career artists are eligible to apply for funding through this category and a number of other opportunities listed on our website.
Yes. If you have previously applied or received investment from the Australia Council for aspects or activities within the proposed project you are eligible to apply. You can’t be funded twice for activities that have already taken place.
In 2023 the program will award one grant to a recipient in each of the following states and territories:
- Australian Capital Territory
- New South Wales
- Northern Territory
- South Australia
Yes. Projects must start after 1 October 2023 and end by 30 June 2025.
Only individuals and groups that have a confirmed invitation to present a new commission at an institution before 30 June 2025 may apply. The institution can be Australian or international. Institutions are defined as a galleries or organisations with a publicly accessible space for the presentation of visual arts and crafts.
Australia Council staff are available to assist you in understanding the purpose of the grant, application requirements, and submitting your application. Staff can assist over email, phone and using Microsoft Teams. We cannot review application drafts.
Additional support can be discussed where needed. Where the additional support required is beyond the scope of what our staff can provide, we may recommend speaking to an appropriate organisation for further assistance.
If you are applying as an unincorporated entity, unincorporated association, or partnership you do not need to have an administrator for your grant. However, you must be able to provide an ABN and bank account that are in the group’s name. If you cannot do this, you must nominate an administrator. For more information about this, please contact Artists Services.
All individual or organisation grant applicants based in Australia must have an active Australian Business Number (ABN). Individual applicants without an ABN may have their grant administered by an individual or organisation with an ABN. Organisations operating outside of Australia do not need an ABN to apply. Individuals based outside of Australia may not need an ABN to apply, depending on their circumstances (please check with your accountant or tax advisor).
The name of the applicant must match the name of the ABN and the name of the bank account we pay the grant into. There are no exceptions to this rule. If you cannot provide an ABN and bank account that are in the same name as the applicant, you will need to nominate an administrator for your grant.
For more information about this, please contact Artists Services.
No. You can’t apply for funding to cover the artist fee or production fee that the institution pays the artist/s as part of their invitation to commission a new work or body of work for exhibition.
Grants paid by the Australia Council may be considered part of your income in a financial year and may be subject to tax. You must determine your own taxation liabilities. We suggest you consult your financial adviser or contact the Australian Taxation Office on 13 28 66.
If you are GST-registered when you receive an Australia Council grant, the Australia Council will pay the grant amount plus GST. The budget provided in your application should be exclusive of GST.
We encourage our applicants to seek funding from other sources to cover the complete costs of their projects. While it does depend on the size of your grant request, we would expect that applicants with large requests would also secure funding from elsewhere to cover all costs associated with a large-scale project.
It is important that your Letter of Support from your exhibiting partner outlines their financial investment in the project and that the gallery/institution understands that if you are successful in receiving a Major Commissioning Projects Grant that it will not cover any of their costs.
Yes. In-kind support refers to resources, goods and services (for example, use of a venue, materials, and people’s time) provided by yourself or others either free of charge, or below market value. Detailing in-kind costs in the budget is important as it gives peers a full understanding of the viability of your project and levels of support you are receiving. In-kind costs are also an expense so, when you save your application, any in-kind income you included will auto-populate to the expenses side of the budget.
Grants can be considered income by Centrelink. The amount is generally assessed as a lump sum and could affect your Centrelink payment for the financial year. Artists who are running a business (even on a small scale) may have their grant treated differently. It is possible to have your grant paid to an administering body if you wish.
Applicants should contact Centrelink on 13 28 50 for advice. Additionally, Centrelink’s Financial Information Service (FIS) is an education and information service available to everyone in the community and may be of benefit to applicants who also receive assistance through the social security system. To contact FIS phone 13 23 00.