Arts and Culture Specialist

Arts Access Accelerate: Nurture - a new approach to funding?


Normally there is a dearth of funding available that provides artists with the time, space and resources to create and develop their practice, without the need to produce a capital O OUTCOME at the end of a designated period of time. Most government and non-government funding bodies require artists to deliver a tangible 'product' in return for grant funds.

While on one level this is understandable - funds are always limited and funding bodies are accountable to communities, taxpayers and ratepayers and need to ensure they are benefiting too - it is a short-sighted approach when this is the only funding available.

Recently I had the opportunity to work with an artist on an application for Arts Access Victoria's Accelerate: Nurture program. I have to say it is one of the most exciting grant programs of this type I have seen. The Guidelines recognise that artists and creatives will have different needs that must be met as a prerequisite to being able to create. Unlike many other grant streams, the program also allows funds to be spent on living costs (because being able to eat and use electricity is actually quite useful if you are an artist - who knew?!). The program does not require a specific 'outcome' at the end of the funding period, instead it asks for a progress report at two months. Similarly there is an open approach to funding access support  - showing that the organisation understands that every individual's needs will be different, and that they are best placed to know what those needs are. Crucially, applications can be made in a variety of formats - how many brilliant creative people do we all know, for whom written grant applications are a constant barrier to accessing funding?

Producing Basics seminar


Recently I attended an online seminar, ‘Producing Basics’, delivered by Laura Milke Garner. Laura is a live performance producer extraordinaire and the Executive Producer and CEO of MILKE. The seminar was brilliant, so many good reminders, tips and tricks to keep a creative project or production on track. Some of the key points that I wrote down to remind myself to embed in my own practice included:

  • Build your own self evaluation into every project
  • Keep a master list and add to it after every project or production
  • Try and find a planning tool that works for you

Laura runs a number of websites and seminars like this one, and there are some fantastic free resources on the MILKE website, check it out here: