Program Organisation Funding Guidelines - part 2

Assessment Process

Organisations wishing to apply for Program funding must meet with artsACT prior to lodging an application in order to discuss government priorities and which part of their program might be suitable for funding. Please call artsACT on (02) 6207 2384 to arrange online access to the application form and a suitable time to meet, at least three weeks prior to the closing date for applications.

Applications are assessed on merit against the assessment criteria and within the available budget, and in the context of the ACT arts landscape and the ACT arts policy.

Applications for Program funding will be considered by an independent panel. The panel will consider the organisation’s application including its goals/strategies the artistic program and budget, the purpose of the funding and relevance in the ACT arts landscape. The panel provides its advice to artsACT, which will also consider the priorities of the ACT arts policy, currently funded Key Arts and Program Organisations and s, the strengths and weaknesses of the ACT arts sector, and if there are any program/service gaps or overlaps, and the available budget.

Funding recommendations are provided to the Minister for the Arts, who will make the final funding decision.

The Assessment Criteria

Applications will be assessed against the following criteria:

1. An organisation with a clearly defined role in the ACT arts sector which meets a community need. 

  • Your organisation’s priorities for the next two years.
  • Your organisation's position within the ACT arts landscape.
  • How your organisation is addressing a community need.

2. A high-quality program of activity that fosters artistic innovation and creative thinking and facilitates community participation in and access to the arts. 

  • Your program of key activities for the next two years. 
  • How the program demonstrates innovation and vibrancy.
  • How the program engages with and encourages diverse participation by the ACT community.

3. Strong governance and administrative practices to deliver the proposed program.

  • The skills and experience of key staff members.
  • Your organisation's board or committee and how they will provide strategic direction for your organisation.

4. A justification of the budget, outlining a sound and sustainable financial position that represents value for money and includes a diversity of income.


Applicants to the Program Funding category must submit online through the artsACT Smarty Grants portal:

  • a completed application form;
  • a business plan or organisational mission statement commensurate with the organisation’s activities;
  • a copy of the organisation’s most recent audited financial statements; and 
  • relevant support material limited to any two items.  Preferred file formats are: for text files (Word, PDF); for image files (JPEG, PNG); for audio files (MP3); and for video files (MP4). 

The business plan for a Program organisation should be commensurate with the scale of its artistic programs and level of funding being sought. Program organisations may wish to use the Business Plan Framework for Key Arts Organisations.

The assessment process normally takes three to four months to complete. The Minister for the Arts will publicly announce successful applicants after organisations have been informed by artsACT.