Through funding assistance and other support, the South Australian Government, via its arts and cultural agency Arts South Australia, promotes and recognises the strengths of our artists and arts organisations.
The Government's funding and grants programs for the arts in South Australia provide:
- support for the subsidised sector (organisations and individuals)
- support for the making of work by South Australian artists
- promotion nationally and internationally of work, either as an audience member or participant.
An effective legislative framework underpins the Government’s investment in arts and cultural development. This framework includes 11 statutory authorities and two public corporations. Between them they are responsible for the delivery of core services, programs and infrastructure across all art forms and for all arts-related purposes.
In addition, more than 50 small to medium organisations and many thousands of individual artists are supported through Arts South Australia’s grant programs.
Translation, Communication & Access
Arts South Australia is committed to making the application process accessible to everyone. We are able to organise interpreters for meetings as well as the translation of applications.
Please let the Arts South Australia contact know if you have specific accessibility requirements.
Accessing the Arts South Australia building:
The Arts South Australia offices in Wakefield House, Level 16, 30 Wakefield Street, are wheelchair accessible.
Deaf and Hearing-Impaired Artists:
When contacting Arts South Australia, TTY users should phone 133 677 then ask for (08) 8463 5444.
Speak and Listen (speech-to-speech relay) users should phone 1300 555 727 then ask for (08) 8463 5444.
Auslan interpreters can be arranged for meetings and to translate applications which are submitted in Auslan (in digital format). Please let the Arts South Australia contact for the grant program you are applying to know if you require an Auslan interpreter.
Funding & Grants Programs:
The following funding & grants programs are available. Visit the relevant pages for information and application forms:
- Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander (ATSI) Arts Development
- Adelaide Festival Awards for Literature
- Arts and Disability
- Arts Organisations
- Community Arts and Cultural Development Funding for Organisations
- Contemporary Music
- Independent Makers and Presenters
- Public Art and Design
Other arts funding
The Australia Council for the Arts is the Australian Government’s arts funding and advisory body.
Most projects and activity funded by Arts South Australia will also be eligible for funding by the Council.
For more information contact the Australia Council for the Arts on 02 9215 9000 or go to www.australiacouncil.gov.au
Catalyst is the Australian Government's new funding program for the arts. It will invest in $12 million each year in innovative projects and initiatives from arts and cultural organisations.
For more information go to www.arts.gov.au
The following agencies receive funding through Arts South Australia to foster the development of particular areas of arts practice:
South Australian Film Corporation (SAFC)
is the State’s peak agency for the screen industries and develops and invests in feature film, documentary, TV and digital media. SAFC also supports the professional development of practitioners and the activities of screen culture organisations through a further series of programs and initiatives.
For more information contact SAFC, 08 8394 2000 or go to www.safilm.com.au
Adelaide Film Festival Investment Fund
provides equity investment in Australian screen product, including feature films, documentaries, shorts and cross platform work, primarily for completion in time to premiere at the Adelaide Film Festival.
For more information contact the Adelaide Film Festival, 08 8394 2505 or go to www.adelaidefilmfestival.org
supports youth arts, including offering grants for:
- scholarships and mentoring opportunities for South Australian artists aged 26 and under
- youth arts organisations working with children and young people.
For more information contact Carclew, 08 8267 5111 or go to www.carclew.com.au
Country Arts SA
provides grant funding to support arts and community cultural development projects which benefit regionally-based artists, arts workers and communities.
For more information contact Country Arts SA, 08 8444 0400 or go to www.countryarts.org.au
administers the South Australian History Fund (SAHF) and the Community Museums Program (CMP) Grant Fund. The SAHF provides funding for small history projects, publications and research projects. The CMP Grant Fund is specifically for museums.
For more information contact History SA, 08 8203 9888 or go to www.history.sa.gov.au
These eligibility points apply generally across Arts South Australia's funding programs. Some programs also have specific requirements, which are detailed in the relevant sections of the website.
Applicants must be Australian citizens or have permanent resident status and live, or be primarily located, in South Australia
The following applications are ineligible:
- projects already completed, or due to be completed, before the commencement of the funding period. Funding will not be provided retrospectively
- projects without professional arts outcomes, such as amateur productions, the self publication of literary works, fundraising, competitions, awards and prizes, as well as projects forming part of a course of study, including graduation activities
- screen-based projects aimed at the cinema, film festivals or television, and media project with a purely commercial outcome. Some activity will be eligible when incorporated into projects in other artform areas. Speak to Arts South Australia if you are unsure
- start-up business costs and the purchase of basic equipment. Speak to Arts South Australia if you are unsure
- organisations currently in receipt of Arts South Australia's Arts Organisations funding should refer to the relevant pages for information on eligibility for other funding.
These criteria apply generally across Arts South Australia's funding programs. Some programs also have specific criteria, which are detailed in the relevant sections of the website.
Artistic merit may refer to:
- innovation, originality, quality, creativity and ambition
- the track record, creative achievement and skill of the artist or artists involved
- the context in which the work is being undertaken
- the potential contribution to the development of the art form
- evidence of experimentation, risk taking and bravery.
Viability may refer to:
- the planning and resources required to achieve the potential of the proposal
- the ability of the applicant to meet the logistical challenges of the proposal
- evidence of strong financial and operational management, including a realistic budget and timeline
- evidence of additional resources and support, including other sources of income and in kind contributions.
Engagement may refer to:
- the potential to grow audiences and their critical understanding of the art form
- the development of new markets, locally, nationally and/or internationally
- the development of new ways to engage with those markets
- the potential to provide a broader range of people with opportunities to participate in arts experiences, through strategies that increase access, social inclusion and cultural diversity
- evidence of deeper engagement with, and the involvement of, particular communities and/or audiences and the delivery of artistic benefits to them.
Development may refer to:
- the development of artist and art form practice
- the potential to enhance the skills and/or professional reputation of the applicant
- the capacity to forge new pathways for artist and sector development
- the capacity to develop new networks, collaborations and partnerships
- the contribution to South Australia’s reputation as a centre of cultural leadership at a national and international level, and the resultant economic benefits
How to Apply
Read this website to determine which program is suitable for your application. Follow the links to individual funding categories.
If you are not eligible for any of the funding in this handbook, contact Arts South Australia for information on other arts funding sources.
Ensure you download the correct application form (click Apply for this Grant button).
Consider how your project meets the criteria.
Discuss your proposal with the arts development officer specific to your program. Names are listed as contacts on relevant pages.
Prepare a first draft.
If you are unclear about completing the application, contact the relevant Arts South Australia officer. Alternatively, talk to your artform service organisation (eg: Ausdance SA, SA Writers' Centre, Guildhouse, Music SA, Access2Arts) or someone who has successfully submitted an application.
Prepare your budget and support material.
Prepare a final application. Allow enough time to check the application or ask someone else to read it. This can help clarify whether you have clearly described the project and addressed the criteria. Allow enough time to make any further adjustments.
Submit the required number of copies of the entire application and the support material by the due date.
Late applications are not accepted
Working with children in art
Arts South Australia has protocols to address the depiction of children in works, exhibitions and publications that it funds.
The protocols are designed to help artists and arts organisations understand their legal obligations and to establish responsible steps for artists when they are involving children in the creation, exhibition or distribution of creative works (including photography, painting, printmaking, performance, sculpture, written text, drawing and digital imagery).
The safety and wellbeing of everyone working in, and engaging with, the South Australian arts and cultural sector is of paramount importance. Arts South Australia is committed to a zero-tolerance approach to all forms of victimisation, bullying and harassment, including sexual harassment.
Arts South Australia has taken a proactive, leadership approach to this serious issue, announcing that from 1 March 2018 it is a condition of all Arts South Australia funding and grants that recipients must adopt and implement a Respectful Behaviours policy and procedure.
Further information about Respectful Behaviours, and resources to assist you to develop a policy and procedure for your organisation or project, are available here.
Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Protocols
Arts South Australia endeavours to work with artists and organisations to ensure respect and acknowledgement for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and cultures at every stage of a project's development.
For more information on ATSI protocols click here.
Peer assessment is central to Arts South Australia’s funding process. The assessment process is convened under the direction of a Chair appointed by the Executive Director of Arts South Australia. The Executive Director also invites peers to participate in assessments. Funding is approved based on peer recommendations.
In selecting peer assessors, Arts South Australia takes in to account artistic achievements, art form knowledge and professional standing.
Most peers are practicing artists but they may also be arts managers, arts workers and others with relevant knowledge and experience.
It is important to note that while Arts South Australia staff administer the funding programs, they do not determine the final outcomes.
Applications are registered and processed by Arts South Australia. Acknowledgement of receipt of an application is sent out within 14 working days.
Most applications are assessed by peer assessors. If necessary, an application may be sent to external assessors for comment.
Peer assessment meetings
Peer assessors usually meet for one to two days. They rigorously assess applications against stated criteria and make recommendations to Arts South Australia. There are usually a greater number of worthy applications than the available funds can support.
Approval, notification and advice
The Minister for the Arts has authority to approve grants and funding and has delegated this authority to the Executive Director of Arts South Australia.
Once peer recommendations are considered and approved, all applicants will be notified of the outcome. Applicants are encouraged to seek feedback from Arts South Australia to help with future applications.