Introduction: what is the Regional Arts Fund (RAF)?
The Regional Arts Fund is an Australian Government program that supports sustainable cultural development in regional and remote communities in Australia. The program is managed by Regional Arts Australia and, in Tasmania, by Arts Tasmania.
There are two Community Grant rounds per year and Quick Response Grants (QRG) are permanently open with 11 monthly assessments a year excluding December.
Round 2, 2017 - was announced in December 2017, the successful applicants can be viewed here.
Round 2, 2018 (For projects commencing after 1 February 2019)
Opens: To be confirmed, July 2018
Closes: To be confirmed, August 2018
Quick Response Grants
The Quick Response Grant program is open all year round. Applications submitted by midnight on the last Sunday of every month are collated for a monthly assessment excluding December.
Who can apply?
All artists and art organisations in Tasmania, including Hobart based organisations and artists, are classified as regional and therefore meet the location eligibility criterion of the Regional Arts Fund. Further to this requirement:
- Individuals and organisations can apply for RAF Community Grants provided they are based in Tasmania and where the primary beneficiaries are Tasmanian residents
- Only individuals can apply for a Quick Response Grant
- Young and emerging artists, artists from diverse cultural backgrounds, Indigenous artists and artists with disability are strongly encouraged to apply
- Applications from remote and isolated communities, or communities experiencing significant disadvantage are strongly encouraged to apply
All applicants must have an ABN, or, if they do not have an ABN, must have an auspicing organisation to manage their grant. Groups and organisations should either be legally incorporated or, like individual applicants, have an auspicing organisation prepared to administer the grant on their behalf.
What are the objectives of the Regional Arts Fund?
The RAF program exists to foster creative and innovative regional, rural and remote communities. RAF supports individual and community access to and participation in cultural activities that sustain the cultural, social and economic capacity of Australian regional, rural and remote communities.
RAF Program Objectives
The Regional Arts Fund is designed to benefit regional and remote arts practitioners, arts workers, audiences and communities. The objectives of the Fund are to support and promote participation in, and access to, Australia’s arts and culture in regional and remote Australia by:
- encouraging and supporting sustainable economic, social and cultural development in regional communities;
- developing partnerships and networks which leverage financial and/or in-kind support for specific projects and encourage ongoing collaboration;
- developing audiences and broaden community engagement with the arts; and
- increasing employment and professional development opportunities for, and raise the profile of, regional and remote artists.
What does the Regional Arts Fund support?
RAF grants can be directed towards specific components of project budgets such as:
- Professional artists and arts workers fees
- Travel costs associated with a project (excluding overseas travel costs or transport costs outside of Australia)
- Professional services associated with a project (materials, equipment hire etc)
- Professional development and networking activities
- Partnership development between arts organisations and/or other organisations or companies
What doesn't the Regional Arts Fund support?
- Ongoing administration costs of an organisation
- Infrastructure projects and purchases of significant assets
- Touring projects that primarily involve touring from major urban centres to regional communities
- Overseas travel costs (costs of overseas projects are eligible where the artist funds their own travel. RAF does not fund the cost of any international airfares or any mode of transportation outside of Australia)
- Components of projects that are also funded through Festivals Australia or through Playing Australia
- Capital works or purely equipment purchases
- Applications where RAF is being asked to meet the full cost of the project
- The core costs of organising and running competitions, prizes, awards, or fundraising events
- Curriculum based activities required as part of any academic program
- Heritage activities, collections development, maintenance, conservation and interpretation
- Projects that have commenced or have been completed prior to the closing date, but further stages of a completed project as an extension of that project are eligible
- Projects proposed by previous grant recipients who have not successfully acquitted previous RAF grants or any other Australian Government funding
- Public Art projects or projects that work towards the creation of a work that is to be permanently installed
What categories of funding exist?
Arts Tasmania delivers the Regional Arts Fund in Tasmania through three targeted grant categories:
- RAF Small Community Grants Program: This category funds eligible components of projects up to the value of $5,000. Projects should support Tasmanian artists, arts organisations and communities in developing new work or creative projects in any art form. Projects should increase professional skill levels, promote dialogue, generate employment opportunities and/or activate partnerships. Funds can be used to develop a project for further funding through RAF or other sources.
- RAF Major Community Grants Program: are up to $10,000 and are directed towards both individuals and organisations for projects that generate partnerships between a range of arts organisations, community organisations, government entities and businesses. Projects in this category should encourage sustainable arts and cultural development activity by enhancing the organisational capacity of the grant recipient to plan and deliver on major projects.
Assessment Process for the RAF Small and Major Community Grants Programs:
These are assessed by a peer review panel with industry leaders from across Tasmania, representing a range of art forms from the Arts sector. The announcement of funding is made by the Australian Government Minister for the Arts. At this time successful applicants will be notified by phone. Unsuccessful applicants will be notified by email and will be given the opportunity to receive feedback. This process can take up to approximately four and a half months from when an application is submitted.
- Quick Response Grants (QRG’s): are up to $1,500 for individuals only, to respond to unique arts opportunities that present at short notice. Projects that can be funded within the Community Grant program timeframe will not be eligible. Applicants are encouraged to only apply for what they need and the assessment panel can choose to part-fund requests if deemed appropriate. Individuals can apply for up to $1,500 and are eligible to receive a total of $1,500 over an 18 month period.
This fund can be used to undertake:
- Professional development by Tasmanian artists in Tasmania, interstate or overseas
- Employment of professional artists to conduct seminars and forums, which develop professional arts practices and share skills within the arts community
- Eligible projects in any art form that fall outside of existing funding program deadlines.
To be considered for funding for the QRGs an applicant must:
- Demonstrate that there is no other funding program for which the proposal is eligible either by its nature or its timing.
Assessment Process for the Quick Response Grant:
This round is always open and applicants can apply at any time. Every month, excluding December, applications submitted by midnight on the last Sunday of the month are collated for assessment. Applicants will be informed of their outcome within 10 working days of the new month, and those successful will be paid after returning completed acceptance paperwork.
Application - how do I apply?
All applications are developed and submitted through the online application system SmartyGrants. Applicants will need to register or log in to SmartyGrants via the Arts Tasmania website.
Applications can be developed and submitted as soon as the grant round opens. Applicants are able to save and revisit an application as many times as they wish until either the grant round has closed or the application has been submitted. Once an application is submitted it cannot be reopened and the RAF Manager is not able to make changes or attach additional documents. The acquittal process is also within the same SmartyGrants account, please see below for more information on acquittals.
Support material - what do I need to provide with my application?
The following information is required:
- The completed application form including a balanced project budget.
- Details of your auspicing organisation (if required)
- A one page resume/CV for all paid professional personnel in the project. (If you can, we recommend you consolidate these into one PDF)
- Samples of artwork by paid artists and key artistic personnel involved in the project. (This can include images, PowerPoint slides, soundtracks, videos, catalogues, reviews, articles, programs or critiques – quality rather than quantity is the recommendation here).
- A maximum of three support letters. (If you can, we recommend you consolidate these into one PDF)
- Confirmation of key personnel (eg by email or a scanned copy of a letter). (If you can, we recommend you consolidate these into one PDF)
Uploading support material
All your Smarty Grants applications will be linked to your email login. If you have used SmartyGrants before you will log in as usual. The entire application must be submitted through the online form and written support material will need to be provided in a PDF format. Please note no paper submission of any component of the application will be accepted. We recommend support material be consolidated into files if possible (for example, all support documents can be made into one PDF file). Files should not exceed 25mb in size and it is strongly recommended that you keep your file size under 5mb. You are able to use most common types on file formats including JPEG, PNG, Word, PDF, Excel and MP3 files.
We recommend when uploading your material you should not navigate to another web browser page until the file has been successfully attached, otherwise the file upload will be cancelled. Please name your attachments logically, for example: ‘Mary Citizen arts worker CV’.
Working with children
If your project includes the participation of people under 18 with project staff or volunteers; or it is presented in a venue specifically for people under 18 (for example school or Childcare Centre) it is a requirement that all project staff and volunteers who have contact with minors hold a current Working with Children’s Card registered through the Tasmanian Justice Department. You can access this registration form and more information about its requirements here:
In the event that project staff or volunteers are from outside of Tasmania they need to hold an equivalent card from their State in Australia.
A scanned copy of these cards must be submitted as part of the application and it is a legal requirement that the card be carried by the individual and be available for sighting while they are in contact with people under 18.
Social inclusions principles
Arts Tasmania seeks to support socially inclusive arts practices that are appropriate to the needs of those in our community who are at risk of social exclusion. In keeping with the social inclusion principles for Australia, Arts Tasmania encourages applicants to identify, where appropriate, how their arts practice might reduce disadvantage, increase social, civil and economic participation and/or assist in achieving a greater voice, combined with greater responsibility for members of our community who are at risk of social exclusion. The Regional Art Fund encourages applications that address the principles of social inclusion with regard to, but not limited to, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander arts and cultural content, multicultural arts, arts and disability and youth arts. To read the appropriate protocols please view the Social Inclusion Principals on the Art Tasmania website.
I still need more help - can I talk to a RAF manager?
Please note the Regional Arts Fund Manager works part-time and will endeavor to respond to your enquiries in a timely manner. It is recommended applicants allow plenty of time to work on their application, particularly if they are seeking assistance from the Regional Arts Fund Manager. The Regional Arts Fund Manager can give feedback on applications within the framework of the grant guidelines, and provide feedback on how to ensure applications are complete and competitive.
You can email the Regional Arts Fund Manager at: firstname.lastname@example.org
You can phone the Regional Arts Fund Manager on: (03) 6165 6666
How are decisions made?
Regional Arts Fund Community Grants are independently assessed by the Regional Arts Fund Panel comprised of leading Tasmanian artists and arts workers. All applications are assessed against the RAF Program Objectives.
Quick Response Grants are assessed by a panel of experts that may include artists, art practitioners and Arts Tasmania Officers.
Conflict of interest
Staff who administer the Regional Arts Fund and sitting members of the Regional Arts Fund Assessment Panel are not eligible to apply for a Regional Arts Fund grant during their service in this role. Staff who administer the Regional Arts Fund shall not write application material on an applicant’s behalf. A sitting member of the Regional Arts Fund Assessment Panel shall not write or assist with the writing of a grant submitted in the name of another applicant. Both staff who administer the Regional Arts Fund and sitting members of the Regional Arts Fund Assessment Panel cannot be a financial beneficiary of the Regional Arts Fund during their time of service. An organisation that employs a sitting member of the Regional Arts Fund Assessment Panel may apply, separate from that member’s involvement. In the event that a sitting member of the Regional Arts Fund Assessment Panel has a perceived or real conflict of interest with an application they shall declare that conflict and will be excluded from the assessment process for that application.
If you are successful
Contracts and logos
Applicants will be emailed an acceptance contract with information about invoicing and reporting on their project. It will contain links to access the relevant logos and acknowledgement statements for the Australian Government’s Regional Arts Fund that must be used in project marketing and promotional material. The Australian Government Regional Arts Fund and the Arts Tasmania logos and acknowledgments must be included on all marketing and promotional material for funded projects.
Funds are transferred to the applicants once completed acceptance paperwork is returned to the Regional Arts Fund Manager.
If the project changes significantly applicants must apply for a variation. Changes can include project dates that move a month beyond the dates described in the application, a change in personnel nominated in the application, a change in project location or a change in the project outcomes.
Unsuccessful applicants should be aware the Regional Art Fund grant program is competitive and funds are limited. The notification email will provide details on accessing feedback on applications.
Acquittal reports are required within 90 days of the completion of funded projects or six weeks for Quick Response Grants. This is based on the project end date nominated in the application.
Acquittal forms are available in the SmartyGrants account as soon as payments have been processed. Recipients can start the acquittal at any stage and revisit the form to keep adding to it through the project lifecycle. Acquittals cannot be submitted until after the project is complete. Acquittals must only include information and receipts relating to the project supported by the RAF grant.
The acquittal report form requests information regarding the development process, project outcomes, project finances and any relevant documentation. It is crucial that financial reports reflect the budget submitted with the application. Recipients are required to attach evidence of the grant funds spent, including scanned copies of receipts, invoices or bank statements.
Good quality photographs of the project are particularly important to provide with the acquittal – this can include photographs of workshops, work development, and the final outcome of the project. Please be aware there is a Subject Release form that will need to accompany images containing people, and an image list form that provides the details of images.
If the acquittal is incomplete the Regional Arts Fund Manager will reopen your form with the request of additional information. The Regional Arts Fund Manager cannot change or add information to acquittals on behalf of recipients. The acquittal process is not complete until the recipient has received an email confirming it was processed successfully.