Do you glaze over at the idea of funding applications? Has your creative mind ruthlessly suffocated your business head? Do you ever wonder how all those other people manage to ‘do stuff’ while your idea of networking is a Facebook friends list of 600 people that you don’t really know?
There has been much talk in recent months about the reduction of arts funding and the great tightening of the state’s budget belt so we thought we’d do a little stock-take — just what is out there and who is it for? How can you find your place in the great funding food chain – are you at the top of the chain or just a bottom feeder?
The top of the chain – the Government heavyweights, www.arts.qld.gov.au; skip right over the “organisations funding section”, to find the “individual”. It’s broken down into convenient little headings that show each grant on offer and outlines the tedious (yet unavoidable) rules about being a Queenslander. It starts small -
The Career Development Grant should really be called the Artist’s GoCard as it seems to mostly be used to contribute to travel expenses (up to $5000) for artists who are going places, literally – going overseas or interstate to attend workshops or to perform. There are definite silos in existence for this grant (which may change if the recommendations of the Arts Council review are enacted) – the silos provide for the likes of Dance & Music, Craft, Theatre & Media (but forget it film-makers you have Film QLD to petition). Notables who’ve made use of this grant include Sven Swenson (currently showing at La Boite with The Truth About Kookaburras). Swenson received assistance toward travel, expenses and accommodation to attend a two week master class with Edward Albee in Sydney. This grant runs all year so you apply as the requirement arises.
Next funding pool off the rank provides up to $50,000 for the Development and Presentation Grant (another dreadful name that imagines an overuse of pie charts). With two rounds each year (closing April 30 & August 31) it is open to individuals, groups, organisations and Local Government authorities. Anywhere Theatre Festival’s Paul Osuch successfully acquired this funding to contribute to the 2012 festival production funds. A swathe of individual artists and productions also receive funding from this pool such as emerging regional artist Tristan Savage who received funding to use toward travel, venue hire and artists fees to tour his comedy production Australian Ghost.
www.artour.com.au lists all the productions on the Annual Touring Menu Program. The application process for this fund is a little bit different. Producers (both QLD and interstate) who are interested in touring their work throughout regional and remote QLD are invited to apply to list their production on a touring menu. Queensland presenters then vote for the projects they wish to see in their communities and the productions that receive the most interest will attract the subsidy. The next application deadline for the 2014 tour is October 2012 (how’s that for advance planning!)
The Flexible Touring Program on the other hand consists of smaller, niche tours with established presenter and community demand. Grant recipients on this strand include the likes of Opera QLD and the QLD symphony orchestra.
Creative Sparks is a joint initiative of Arts QLD and the Brisbane City Council. The program offers up to $20,000 over three categories to residents of the local Brisbane authority. The categories are: creative projects that enrich Brisbane’s communities, new projects promoting professional development, and art business partnerships. Notable recipients include Vulcana Women’s Circus for The Grave Effects of Notable Women (enrich Brisbane communities) and Dead Puppet Society for ‘Metamorphosis’ (professional development). Applications for 2012 closed on April 2nd so look out for the 2014 deadline.
The Artists in Residence (AIR) program is all about putting artists in schools. Innovative education and arts projects can attract up $20,000. Iconic Brisbane artist Alison St Ledger received funding in 2011 for Storybook Cabaret, which saw her run weekly story telling workshops at Serviceton South State School. This program is a joint initiative between the Queensland Government and the Australia Council for the Arts with a 2011–2012 commitment of $211,269.
All of this enlightening and inspiring information (and more) is available at www.arts.qld.gov.au.
Next time we’ll step down a level – non-government organisations that provide funding opportunities for local artists.