Regional Arts Fund (RAF)

Office for the Arts, Department of Infrastructure, Transport, Regional Development and Communications
Describe the main features of the policy/measure: 
As reported in Australia’s previous Quadrennial Periodic Report, the Regional Arts Fund (RAF) is an Australian Government program that supports sustainable cultural development in regional and remote communities in Australia. RAF provides A$3.6 million per year in funding for people living in regional, remote and very remote communities to undertake arts projects, professional development for artists and arts workers, and strategic projects. RAF is delivered on behalf of the Australian Government by Regional Arts Australia, regional arts organisations or state government arts agencies. RAF supports projects that target a range of disadvantaged demographics including people with disability, young people, women, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, people from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds and older Australians. As an example, in 2020 the Australian Government committed A$84,604 to a project that invested in the long-term development of regional artists and supported regional practice, Indigenous artists and emerging artists. The project aimed to assist in community recovery through creative practice, following damaging drought and bushfire seasons in Australia in 2019-2020. The project built new connections, generated exchange and allowed regional artists to explore and share the experiences and resilience of impacted communities in regional and remote Australia.
What are the results achieved so far through the implementation of the policy/measure?: 
RAF continues to increase participation in, and access to, Australia’s arts and culture in regional and remote Australia by: • encouraging and supporting sustainable economic, social and cultural development in regional communities; • developing partnerships and networks which leverage support for projects and encourage ongoing collaboration; • developing audiences and broaden community engagement with the arts; and • increasing employment, professional development opportunities and profile of regional and remote artists.
Financial resources allocated to the policy/measure in USD: 
US$2,700,000 (A$3,600,000) annually
Partner(s) engaged in the implementation of the measure: 
Name of partnerType of entity
Regional Arts Australia
Civil Society Organization (CSO)
Regional Arts New South Wales
Civil Society Organization (CSO)
Regional Arts Victoria
Civil Society Organization (CSO)
Regional Arts Victoria
Civil Society Organization (CSO)
Flying Arts Alliance Inc
Civil Society Organization (CSO)
Regional Arts Western Australia
Civil Society Organization (CSO)
Country Arts South Australia
Civil Society Organization (CSO)
RANT Arts Ltd
Civil Society Organization (CSO)
Darwin Community Arts
Civil Society Organization (CSO)
Public Sector
Has the implementation of the policy/measure been evaluated?: 
If yes, what are the main conclusions/recommendations?: 
The 2016-2020 RAF funding cycle was extended for a further year to 2020-2021 to provide certainty for the regional arts sector during the COVID-19 crisis and enable the rapid delivery of the additional A$10 million provided to the program in 2020. The program is being reviewed further in 2020-2021 and changes will be implemented for the next funding cycle commencing 1 July 2021. The program will be further streamlined to achieve a level of national consistency, whilst still allowing flexibility for each jurisdiction to customise delivery of the program to meet the needs of the regional arts sector in that jurisdiction.