Arts & Humanities

Capacity Building Stream

This program will distribute $1.25 million over four years (2015 – 2018).

This program will provide organisations with one grant in two instalments. Grants will be made between $20,000 and $50,000, over two financial years, to support the recipients’ core activities and capacity building initiatives.

This program seeks to strengthen and grow the independent arts and cultural sector in Australia by granting money to ensembles/collectives/groups and organisations that are highly connected within their sector, and producing excellent work.


The first year of the program (2015) targeted ensembles/collectives/groups based in Victoria or Tasmania.

In 2016 the Sidney Myer Fund (SMF) and Tim Fairfax Family Foundation (TFFF) will collaborate to support Queensland and Northern Territory artists and arts organisations. Application to this program in 2016 will be open to two types of applicant:

  1. Queensland and Northern Territory performing arts organisations, groups, ensembles and collectives who have presented at least one season of work since January 2014, and are not currently receiving any form of multi-year government operational support. For the purposes of this grant, ‘ensembles/collectives/groups’ does not include music groups, screen-based artist collectives or visual arts organisations.
  2. Small to medium arts organisations based in Queensland or the Northern Territory who are key to the ecology of artist development in their state and as such have engaged or assisted significant numbers of individual artists since January 2015. Receiving multi-year government operational support does not exclude organisations from applying in this second category.

Please note that organisations currently receiving capacity building support from TFFF will not be eligible for this program.


This program will assess applications based on their body of work and their ‘connectivity’ within the sector. ‘Connectivity’ describes an ensemble’s/collective’s/group’s relationship with other groups, artists and organisations within the sector. By granting money according to these criteria this program hopes to see impact of the grant felt as broadly beyond the individual recipient as possible.

Application Process

Alongside the submission of contact details, applicants will detail their production and creative history. Applications will open on 9 March 2016 and close at the end of the day on 10 April 2016.

Selection Process

Applicants to this program will be assessed by Sidney Myer Fund and Tim Fairfax Family Foundation in consultation with sector experts.


Applications for the 2016 program will open on 9 March and close on 10 April. Decisions will be advised in June 2016.


No feedback on individual applications, successful or otherwise, will be provided.

Future Years

In 2016, this national program targets applicants in Queensland and the Northern Territory. It is envisaged that the program will rotate its geographical focus annually.

You can learn more about this program on the Frequently Asked Questions page.

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