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Arts grants

Flourish Arts Grants Program

Applications for 2024 are now closed.

A panel of Assessors are now examining all of the eligible proposals and will announce the successful receipients in late November 2023.

The next round of funding will open in August 2024, for projects in 2025.

Grant Categories:
  • Individual Artists (up to $5,000)
  • Arts Organisations (up to $10,000)

Any application enquiries or questions can be emailed to artsgrants@merri-bek.vic.gov.au or phone our Arts Officer on 03 9240 2486

Objectives:
  • To support local artists and arts organisations to recover and flourish.
  • To strengthen the capacity of local artists and arts organisations.
  • To support local artists and arts organisations to navigate new models of engagement.
  • To build connection and engagement through community led arts and cultural activities.
  • To support and encourage more people to be involved with arts and culture in Merri-bek.

Flourish Arts Grants: Frequently Asked Questions

  • Individual applicants need to be residents of Merri-bek or have a creative working space within the Merri-bek Local Government Area.  

    Arts organisations need to be based in Merri-bek.

  • No. The grant can only cover activities that occur in the Merri-bek Local Government Area. 

  • Individual artists do not need to be auspiced to obtain a Flourish Arts Grant.  

    Organisations need to be a company, an incorporated association or other registered legal body. Informal groups or collectives can be auspiced by an incorporated association.   

    You can read more about auspicing in the Flourish Arts Grants Guidelines (PDF 545KB).

  • Yes. Flourish Arts Grants are for professional creative practitioners with an ABN.   

    If you are applying as an organisation, then your organisation needs to have an ABN, or be auspiced by an incorporated association with an ABN.

  • If your Flourish Arts Grant Application is successful, then you will have to obtain Public Liability Insurance. We suggest you include a quote, or other evidence that you have inquired about obtaining Public Liability Insurance with your application.

  • Flourish Arts Grants are designed to support individuals and organisations whose primary business is in the arts. If you are a school, community centre or other organisation who runs activities, we suggest that you support a Merri-bek artist or arts group to apply for a Flourish Arts Grant to run a program at your venue. Community Organisations can apply directly for funding through Merri-bek community grants.   

  • Specific projects or events can only be supported by one type of grant. 

    However, if you are an arts organisation that is running different projects, you can apply for both types of grants. Eg. an arts studio may obtain a Flourish Arts Grant to produce a catalogue documenting their resident artists and obtain a community grant to undertake renovations. 

  • Yes. You can apply for other grants, eg. Creative Victoria, Australia Council, or other funding bodies for the same project. 

    However, make sure that your budget in your Flourish Arts Grant Application demonstrates your need for Flourish arts funding. If you do not know the outcome of other grants, you also need to demonstrate that your proposal is still viable even if the other applications are not successful. 

  • Yes, you can. You can obtain information by emailing  artsgrants@merri-bek.vic.gov.au    

    You can also phone the Arts Officer, Margaret on 03 9240 2486. They work Tuesdays and Thursdays.  If you leave a voicemail message, they will call you back.

    The Arts Officer is happy to discuss your grant proposal and suggest what you need to complete the application. They are not part of the selection process.  

  • We can arrange to accept video applications if you prefer to speak, show a powerpoint, video, or use Auslan or a language interpreter to communicate your proposal.

    The proposal questions on the Smarty Grants form have a section where you can upload a 5 to10 minute video to describe your proposal and its impact.

    You can also add videos to your URL that you provide in the grant application.

    However, questions about your contact details, your tax, legal status and your budget need to be answered in writing.

    If you have language, technical or access barriers to completing the online form, we suggest contacting organisations such as Arts Access Victoria, or Multicultural Arts Victoria who may be able to assist with entering your information into the Smarty Grants form. Some neighbourhood houses may also be able to help. They may charge a fee.

    For more information contact the Arts Officer, Margaret, by emailing  artsgrants@merri-bek.vic.gov.au  or phone on 03 9240 2486.

  • You need to have a website or social media link where you have documentation of your work . This can include images/showreels/sound clips/well-presented text and/or links to other sites where your work is published. You can also include an online CV. If you have Instagram, then you can include a link tree in your profile bio. 

    We suggest that you obtain up to 3 support letters for your proposal. They can be from other artists/collaborators, venues/publishers/galleries/studios/festivals that have shared your work, or from organisations/venues linked to your current proposal. 

    You can also attach the following in the section called additional support material: 

    • Images and Biography Statements (50 -100 words) of all artists involved in the project
    • Artists CV, listing your previous creative work 
    • Digital Portfolio (as a PDF without massive files) 
    • Detailed budget, to explain the project costings in full (make sure this is balanced and matches the budget question in Smarty Grants)
  • Eligible applicants are passed to an assessment panel, who are independent from the Arts Officer, and from the grant applicants. 

    The process is:

    1. An Officer from the Arts and Culture Unit will assess each application to confirm whether it is eligible. This Officer will be the main contact for questions and assistance while applications are open. Eligible applications will be shortlisted and submitted to a decision-making panel. This Officer will not be on the decision-making panel.  

    2. A panel of at least two (2) officers from across Council and two (2) external representatives will assess the eligible applications against the assessment criteria. The panel will be chaired by the Unit Manager Arts and Culture. 

    3. A report from the panel with recommendations for funding will be made to the Director Community for endorsement. 

    The assessment panel assesses each applicant against the criteria listed in the Flourish Grant Application Guidelines (PDF 545KB).

  • We aim to let everyone know of the outcome of their application by early November 2023.

    We will advise applicants via email. 

  • Yes. If you apply for a Flourish Arts Grant as an individual artist, Services Australia will count your grant as a 'non-renumerative lump sum' and will divide the payment by 52 weeks. This means that you will be declaring $192 per fortnight income.

    Your alternative is to be auspiced by another organisation, in which case you would only declare the specific grant funds that reimburse your labour or expenses, which you claim from the auspicing organisation.

    We suggest you visit the relevant  Services Australia website page for more information.

Past Flourish Arts Grant Recipients

The full recipient list for previous rounds of this program are below.

  • The 2022 Flourish recipients were:

    • Baris Uluso: Near Dark Productions (film)
    • Julia Flaster: Debris Magazine (literature)
    • Harrison Ritchie Jones: Creative Development for "Cuddle" (dance)
    • Pink Ember Studio: New Studio space (visual arts)
    • Coady Green: Tempo Queer at Tempo Rubato (music)
    • Outer Urban Projects' Producing for Impact (digital production)
    • Fleur Murphy: Plot. Hedda (theatre)
    • Michele Lee: ‘The Lookalike’ (theatre)
    • Emma Thompson: correspondences Creative Program (literature)
    • Anna Dunnill: Side Gate (visual arts)
    • Ruby Duncan: Creative Development for 'Bruv' (theare)
    • Elle Sachs: The Travelling Sisters: Development Period (theatre)
    • Brittany Devlin: Honey Bones Group Series (visual arts)
    • Emma Riches: The Not New Project (dance magazine)
    • Jeff Achtem & Tim Sneddon: The Merri-Bek Family Festival (community arts)
    • New North: 2023 Concert & Development Program (music)
    • Andrew Weldon: 'It's All Silver Lining' (graphic memoir)
    • Collide Public Art Initiative: Expanded Field Artists (visual arts)
    • Sofia Sabbagh: Trees of Moreland (graphic novella)
    • Carole Yelland: Devilled Eggs (theatre)
    • Jackson Castiglione and Tamara Searle: Imagination Ballet (dance)
    • Honey Long and Prue Stent: photography workshop (visual arts)
    • Richard Chadwick: Karen From Finance is Doing Time (performance)
  • The 2024 Flourish recipients are:

    • Georgia Cromarty: Exhibition by Georgia at Honey Bones Gallery
    • Stephanie Gawler: Heatsick
    • Rebecca Freeman: Mindy Meng Wang & Sui Zhen: Origin of You
    • Tilman Robinson: Community consultation for “You Never Listen” by composer/sound designer Tilman Robinson
    • Rachel Wilson: Typical Girls: Merri-bek’s Punk Conglomerate
    • Henry Kelly: Girl at the Bottom of a Well
    • Correspondences: Creative Program 2024
    • Colectiva Abya Yala: “Unknotting Sentipensares” (feeling-thinking) a cultural exchange between South (Latin America/Abya Yala) to South (Merri-bek/Naarm)
    • Pink Ember Studio: Ember Studio
    • Tongberang’i Ngarrga Inc: Merri Creek Day Gathering
    • Yo Soy Collective: Sobremesa
    • Merri-bek City Band: MCB Out Hear – Accessible Community Music Program
    • Loom Arts and Management: Retail Program for Artists with Disability
    • Pasifika Storytellers Collective: Tala Tupu’a – Origin Stories
    • Bunk Puppets: Merri-bek Family Festival 2024
    • Debris Magazine: Debris Magazine: Issue 04
    • Melbourne School of Tarantella: RAPTURE: Music and dance healing rituals
    • Static Vision: Static Vision Theatrette
    • Jungle City Projects: Culture Queenz – Each One Teach One
    • Honey Bones Gallery: Common Ground
  • The 2021 Flourish recipients are:

    • 7th Floor: 7th Floor 2022 Program
    • Alison Adriano: Ali Adriano - EP Project
    • Barry Solomon: Camping with Mrs Barb Wire
    • Belinda Locke: Disability Pride Month
    • Bonita Carzino: Purchasing Camera Equipment for Cinematography
    • Chelsea Hickman: Lockdown Response: Digital Adaptation Project
    • Commoners Press: 10 Press
    • Ell Sachs: We Too Us Too Me Too Too Too - Rehearsal Period
    • Gamaka Incorporated: Gamaka presents REVIVAL
    • Georgie Darvidis: Georgina Darvidis - Music Video
    • Jemma Cotter: The Fling - Short Film
    • Josh Glanc: Josh Glanc - Vroom Vroom
    • June Lamb: Writing, recording, production, mixing, and mastering of June Jones EP
    • Jungle City projects: Movement Maps
    • Lemony S Puppet Theatre: Lemony S Puppet Theatre Lab
    • Margaret Mayhew: Queers Draw BEEF: Dancing, drawing, and colouring in for LGBTIQA+ people in Merri-bek
    • Moreland City Band: Getting Better
    • New North: New North 2022 Program: Elevating Exploratory Music with Concerts, New Works & Audience Development
    • Norm Warehouse: Norm Warehouse Survival Reboot
    • ON3 Studio: ON3 Artist Development Workshops
    • Outer Urban Projects Ltd: TRANSMISSION
    • Pink Ember Studio: Pink Ember Workshops & Open studio days
    • Prue Stent: Still Almost Blue
    • Roosevelt Street Studios: Surviving COVID-19 hardship
    • Schoolhouse Studios: Schoolhouse Studios Rent Relief
    • Seat at the Table: Race on the Table Vodcast Series
    • Sofie Dieu: Hyper Sensorial Art
    • Vardos ANTFARM: an Anthropomorphosis
    • Zoë Bastin: Waves Are Disturbances
  • The 2020 Flourish recipients were:

    • Alana Holmberg: 'Porch Diaries' (Exhibition)
    • Blakademy - Blak Dot Gallery: 'Around the Fire' (Blakademy Public Program 2020-2021)
    • Bunk Puppets: 'Organisational Funding' - Company diversification and core planning
    • Dylan Martorell: 'Sonaflora Field Guide' (Interactive Experience)
    • Eddie Botha Creations: Fawkner Bowls Club Community Mural
    • Fleur Murphy: Research and development of a new play script, 'The Fence'
    • GalleryGalleryInc: 'Inside Out Projection Window' (Exhibition)
    • Jade Imagine: Recoding of their second album
    • James Ruse: Untitled short film project
    • Jazzlab: Jazzlab Digital Corona Sessions (Pilot program)
    • Joel Ma: Development of 'Joelistics Presents Film School' into a live performance and short film
    • June Lamb: Creation of Video clip for 'Home', the 3rd single off June Jones' upcoming album release
    • Kate Lefoe: Development of an online LGBTIQ community for 'Wicked Women' web series
    • Lemony S Puppet Theatre: Open design process and puppetry workshops
    • Melbourne Minute: Melbourne lo-fi hip hop radio
    • Melbourne Sound School: Sound School - 'Watch and Learn' Program
    • Merlo Art Collective: 'People on the Streets' (Exhibition)
    • Milk Records Pty Ltd: Organisational Funding - Supporting Merri-bek based recording artists at Milk Records
    • Nicola Castle: 'The Alt-Right Addiction' (Film)
    • NOIR Darkroom: Organisational Funding - Supporting Exhibiting Merri-bek Artists at NOIR
    • Norm Warehouse: Organisational Funding - Supporting Merri-bek Artists at NORM Warehouse
    • Pink Ember Studio: Pink Ember Workshops Series
    • Riot Stage: 'Everyone Is Famous' (short film)
    • Roosevelt Street Studios Inc: Organisational Funding - Supporting Merri-bek Artists at Roosevelt Street Studios
    • Simon Aubor: 'Moreland: 23/03/2020 to xx/xx/xxxx' (Photographic project)
    • Stephanie Lake Company: Creation of new work, 'Manifesto' (Dance)
    • TCB Art Inc: 'Mulana - First Nations Residency Programme'
    • The Listies: 'SMELLOVISION!' Filmclips for forthcoming comedy album for children
    • The Wandering Room: 2021 Solo Exhibition Program
    • Varuni Kanagasundaram: 'Messages That Link Us' (Kolam Ritual Drawing)

For more information you can contact our Arts Officer by email at artsgrants@merri-bek.vic.gov.au or phone on 03 9240 2486.

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