Support for regional engagement
The Australian Government seeks to support opportunities for participation in the arts in regional Australia in a number of ways, specifically through its investment in regional arts via the Regional Arts Fund and National Collecting Institutions Touring and Outreach Program, initiatives delivered by the Australia Council and activities by Australia’s key national cultural institutions. Regional arts funding is delivered through grants to individuals and through grants and ongoing funding to national, state-level and regional organisations, including arts training organisations and major performing arts bodies.
The Regional Arts Fund is an Australian Government program that supports sustainable cultural development in regional and remote communities in Australia. The Regional Arts Fund provides US$3.01 million per year in funding to a mix of quick response grants, community grants for arts projects, professional development for artists and arts workers, and community capacity building projects. The program has focused on reaching a diverse range of recipients within regional communities, including people with disability, young people, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and people living in remote and very remote areas.
The Regional Arts Fund program was reviewed in 1995, 1999 and 2005. Each of these reviews recommended improvements which were subsequently implemented into the program and guidelines. In 2013 Regional Arts Australia (the national peak body) consulted artists and communities about the program’s priorities. The Government is presently considering potential changes for the 2016-2020 funding period.
The National Collecting Institutions Touring and Outreach Program provides $1 million annual funding to the National Collecting Institutions to support the development and/or touring of exhibitions within Australia, with a particular focus on regional areas.