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?