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Aboriginal Arts Program

Funding announced

A full list of successful applicants to the Aboriginal Arts Program 2017 round can be found on the past decisions page.    

Arts Tasmania's Aboriginal Arts Program supports arts projects and activities by Aboriginal artists and organisations that stimulate contemporary, traditional and non-traditional Aboriginal art forms and practice.

The Aboriginal Arts Program is focused on providing opportunities for professional development through mentorships, fellowships and projects that demonstrate strong developmental content.

Projects must commence after 15 December 2016.

Key dates

Opens: 13 June 2017
Closes: 14 July 2017
Notification: November 2017

Who can apply?

To be eligible to apply to the Aboriginal Arts Program you must be:

  • an Aboriginal artist, or    
  • a recognised Aboriginal organisation that is, or is in the process of becoming, legally constituted.    
  • an arts organisation applying for an Aboriginal specific project.    

If you are unsure about your eligibility, more information is available at:

Arts Tasmania will consider applications for projects from non-Aboriginal organisations that benefit Tasmanian Aboriginal artists.

For other eligibility requirements, please visit general eligibility.

Who can't apply?

If you have previously received a grant or loan from Arts Tasmania that has not been satisfactorily acquitted you are not eligible to apply to this program.

What you can apply for?

This year's Aboriginal Arts Program will focus on providing opportunities for professional development. These opportunities may include:

  • creative development projects    
  • the presentation of your work    
  • skills development    
  • professional development    
  • business development    
  • mentorships - for emerging and early career artists and arts workers    
  • fellowships - for mid-career and established artists and arts workers    

You cannot apply for investment towards projects or activities that do not involve professional artists or arts workers, do not have a clearly defined arts component or that have already taken place.

Some types of activities are not eligible for investment or are restricted. Be sure to read the general eligibility to make sure your project is suitable before applying.


Emerging and early career artists and arts workers can apply for investment towards undertaking a mentorship with professional development outcomes. The mentorship may take place within Tasmania or nationally.

If applying for investment towards a mentorship, your application should demonstrate:

  • a program that includes a scheduled timetable to work with a mentor, industry host or organisation.  For example, it may consist of a program that includes attending an interstate indigenous festival / working with an artist or organisation / attending a master class or workshop.  Applicants    are    encouraged to discuss this with the Program Officer – Aboriginal Arts    
  • a completed budget using the Excel budget template detailing how you will use the grant that may include airfares, other transport, accommodation, per diems, materials, entry fees, etc.    
  • written confirmation from all project participants, and    
  • information on how you will share your experience with the community upon return – this may be through a small presentation, social media, or a written report.    

In presenting an application for a mentorship you should:

  • ensure that you have the written support of your chosen mentor(s)    
  • be able to describe the value of working with the selected mentor(s)    
  • have thought through and be able to talk about a plan detailing time, cost and logistics of the negotiated partnership    
  • show that you have discussed and agreed with the mentor on issues related to intellectual property rights and insurance, and    
  • ensure your application includes statements from your proposed mentor(s) to their involvement and commitment.    


Mid-career and established artists and arts workers can apply for investment towards undertaking a fellowship with professional development outcomes. The fellowship may take place within Tasmania, nationally or internationally. Self-directed fellowships are eligible for investment.

Investment towards fellowships is capped at $5 000.

If applying for investment towards a fellowship, your application should demonstrate:

  • a structured program    
  • national or international focus that provides clear benefit to your professional practice    
  • capacity to undertake project, and    
  • public sharing of the outcomes of the project via a presentation or other method, once completed.    


Arts Tasmania will accept applications for any eligible projects that provide mentorship, leadership, professional and creative development and/or employment opportunities for Aboriginal artists. Mentorship projects are particularly encouraged.

Against what criteria will my application be assessed?

Your application will be assessed against the criteria of quality and reach.

Quality – 50 per cent weighting

There are a number of indicators of quality that the assessment panel may take into consideration. You are not required to address these indicators one by one but you must demonstrate how they are reflected in your project:

  • The quality of your proposal in its aims towards preserving, enhancing and expanding Aboriginal arts practice.    
  • The quality of the artistic concept and artistic practice.    
  • Commitment to your practice and professional development.    
  • Capacity to fulfil the obligations and parameters of the project.    

Reach – 50 per cent weighting

There are a number of indicators of reach that the assessment panel may take into consideration. You are not required to address these indicators one by one but you must demonstrate how they are reflected in your project:

  • The value of your project in expanding and enhancing artistic practice.    
  • How your project benefits the Tasmanian community and in particular Tasmania's Aboriginal community.    
  • The ambassadorial potential for Tasmanian Aboriginal arts and for the community.    

The assessment guidelines are a useful resource that details what peers may consider in assessing your application.

Who will assess my application?

Applications will be assessed by the Aboriginal Arts Advisory Committee.

What do I submit as my application?

All applications must include:

  • A completed Aboriginal Arts Program application form
  • A project budget
  • A confirmation and brief CV or biography for each artist or mentor mentioned in your application (one page per artist/mentor maximum)    
  • A maximum of five items of artistic support material.    

Applications may also include:

  • A maximum of two written references that demonstrate your ability to successfully complete the project and its merits.    

All projects involving Aboriginal, Torres Strait Islander content must include evidence of permission granted by the relevant community (refer to

Please note that excess support material will not be accepted. All attachments should be listed on the support material cover page and each attachment should be clearly labelled.

Visit artistic support material for information relating to accepted formats.

When do I submit my application?

Opens: 13 June 2017
Closes: 14 July 2017
Notification: November 2017

Material received after the closing date will not be considered.

How do I submit my application?

Your Aboriginal Arts Program application form must be submitted by e-mail to before 11:59 pm on the due date.

Electronic submission of support material by e-mail is preferred but files may be submitted on CDs, DVDs or USB drives if necessary.

Postal submissions of CDs, DVDs or USBs must be made to: Arts Tasmania, 146 Elizabeth St, Hobart TAS 7000 (postmarked before or on the due date).

Hard copy submissions will only be considered if you are unable to submit electronically. You must contact a program officer for permission to submit in hard copy before the closing date.

For more information relating to making your submission, please visit how to apply.

When will I be notified of the outcome of my application?

Notifications will occur in November 2017.

Help with your application

We recommend you seek advice from a program officer before submitting your application. Program officers are a useful source of information and can provide advice on your application at any stage of the process.

Program officer Denise Robinson is available to discuss your Aboriginal Arts application.

You can make an appointment with Denise for a face-to-face meeting or contact her directly via phone or e-mail.

Due to the number of programs operated by Arts Tasmania, there is great demand for program officers' time and therefore contact time with a program officer is limited.


The application form will be available closer to the opening date.

Stay in touch

Sign up for our fortnightly email newsletter for updates on all our investment and development opportunities.

Updates and reminders are also posted on the Arts Tasmania Facebook page, like us on Facebook to receive regular updates in your newsfeed.

Other types of investment

See the programs and key dates page to see all investment options available to individual artists, partnerships, collaborations and other unincorporated groups.

Other information

Equity for information relating to services provided by Arts Tasmania to assist applicants in overcoming any special difficulties in applying for Arts Tasmania's programs of investment.

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