The Australia Council for the Arts has unveiled a new model for making grants that will allow a greater diversity of artists and organisations to apply for funding.

The new model – with five grant programs, streamlined criteria and ability to include multiple stages of a project in one application – will come into effect in January 2015. The Australia Council noted that this is the most significant change to its grants model in its 40-year history.

“We have made it simpler and easier to apply for funding,” said Chief Executive Tony Grybowski at its launch today at the Sydney Opera House.

“We want to encourage ambitious projects and see more audiences captivated by work that inspires and challenges.”

The five programs are made up of:

– Development grants for individuals and groups valued at between $5,000 and $25,000.

– Arts project grants for individuals and groups valued at between $10,000 and $50,000.

– Arts project grants for organisations valued at between $10,000 and $150,000.

– Fellowships valued at $100,000.

– Six year funding for arts organisations which provides them with greater stability and an ability to plan programs to be aimed at national and international audiences.

The new model also ensures that individuals or groups of artists are not competing with arts organisations. It will also recognize both emerging and established artists.

The changes came after dialogue with the arts sector. Australia Council will visit every state and territory to explain the new model and get feedback of any refinements before applications open in January.

The Australia Council will also continue to deliver five Government grant programs – the Contemporary Music Touring Program, Festivals Australia (to fund regional festivals), Visions of Australia (for regional exhibition tours), Playing Australia (for regional performing arts touring fund) and Artstart (for those starting out in the arts and music industries).

More information about the restructure can be found on the Australia Council website. For more industry news see Christie Eliezer’s Industrial Strength column.

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