Project Assistance: Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Arts Development

Project Assistance supports individuals and groups of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander artists in the creative development, production or presentation of new work. You can seek assistance across literature, performing arts and visual arts, craft and design.

Emerging artists applying for funding to create new work must demonstrate that the project is viable and that they have the skills and ability to undertake and complete the project.

You can also apply for funds towards presentation opportunities that will help to enhance your profile locally, nationally and internationally.

Funded activity for visual arts, craft and design projects can include:

  • creative development of work
  • making of work
  • concentrated periods of work on a project
  • exhibitions and touring regionally, nationally and internationally

Applications to develop and create new work require evidence of the work's form and conceptual basis. It could be a concept drawing, prototype or an existing work indicating how the project will develop. If none of these are possible, provide a written description.

Community organisations should seek funding from the Community Arts program.

Funded activity for musicians in the development of new work can involve periods in the recording studio or working with other artists. Musicians can apply for funding towards:

  • performance opportunities
  • administration costs
  • performance fees
  • venue hire
  • promotion and publicity.

Musicians can also seek funding from the Contemporary Music program.

Theatre practitioners and dancers can apply for assistance with the development, production and presentation of new work. This could include costume, set making, venue hire and artists' fees.

Writers can apply for assistance to develop new work, including research and planning. Research projects are eligible if the writer has a track record of achievement in writing.

Self-publishing of books is not supported in this program.

Download a PDF list of previous Major Commission grant recipients:


Stephanie Lord - Arts Development Officer, ATSI Arts & Programs
(08) 8463 5450

Arts South Australia may ask you to confirm your Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander identity. This must be approved by an organisation registered under the Corporations (Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander) Act 2006.

You will also be asked to identify your professional status on the application form which will be taken into account.

Please read the criteria specified in Essential reading before applying.

The following criteria are considered when Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander funding applications are assessed:

  • the appropriateness of a project's content with regard to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures
  • the extent to which the project will enhance and extend or develop the quality of the applicant's artistic practice and benefit their career and reputation
  • the project's overall benefits to the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community. You should identify your target audience and describe how you might share your work, skills and experience with the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community, arts industry peers and emerging artists
  • the extent to which the project will contribute to the development of the art form, locally, nationally or internationally
  • a track record of achievement and ability to undertake and complete the project.

Applications are assessed by a peer panel of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander representatives from the fields of literature, performing arts and visual arts.

You must contact Arts South Australia to discuss an application, and read and complete the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Arts Development application form.

Support Material

Support material is extra items submitted in support of your written proposal.

Choose support material carefully and submit only material that is directly relevant. Ensure that the quality of your visual support material is of a high standard. Please check with the Project Officer if you have any queries.

If possible, it is recommended that the electronic copy of your application and your support material are submitted together on a single USB. All USBs, and files contained on them, must be clearly identified with the applicant’s name and project title.


The total combined size of your application and support material must not exceed 6MB of data.


This means that your support material must demonstrate your work in a format which is of the highest quality achievable within the data limit. Support material will be viewed by the panel and tabled at the assessment meeting.

Written materials such as CVs, letters of support and media clippings should be included as part of the written application and as such, are not considered support materials, but are useful for providing a history of the artist.

Support material may include:

• books, publications, manuscripts, programs, catalogues etc. These items can be paper-based and provided with your original application.
• URL links to vimeo, youtube or other websites are preferred.
• Music and video support material must be supplied in a format that is both easily duplicated and playable on different computers and tablets. Edited highlights of 3 – 5 minutes are recommended rather than an entire work.
• If you do supply CD-ROMs or DVDs, the material needs to be fully PC and Windows compatible and accompanied by a short written description for conceptual installations or multimedia.

Support material can be collected from Arts South Australia after notification of the result of your application. If not collected within two months of notification, Arts South Australia will dispose of material.

Support material will not be accepted after the closing date.


Other funding sources


We encourage and can advise people to form partnerships, secure joint funding or matching grants and other forms of assistance and resources.
Applicants can also apply for funding through the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Arts Board of the Australia Council for the Arts. If a project is being developed in stages, it is possible to apply to Arts South Australia for funding of one stage and the Australia Council for the Arts for another.

The Australia Council for the Arts can be contacted on t: 02 9215 9000 or free call:
1800 226 912.

Contact Information:

Primary Contact:
Stephanie Lord
Arts Development Officer, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Isla
Email Address:
(08) 8463 5450