Contemporary Music Grant Program: FAQs



Funding is available through the Arts South Australia Contemporary Music Grant Program for South Australian based artists and representatives of artists that are composing and performing original music.



How do I access an application form?

You can download an application form from the Arts South Australia website.  Simply go to the Contemporary Music section, choose the category that you are interested in, read through the criteria and information about the category, and then download a copy of the application form.  This will give you a great overview of what is required to put together a submission.


I’m a South Australian based artist under 26 years old, is Arts South Australia the best place for me to apply for funding?

If you are under 26 years old, you should first consider funding options with Carclew Youth Arts.   Carclew funds young professional emerging musicians and this is a great place to gain experience in grant applications amongst your peers.

Discuss your funding requirements with them in the first instance as if you apply for funding through Arts South Australia and are successful, you will no longer be eligible for support through Carclew.


Can I apply online with Arts South Australia?

Not yet – but this will be coming soon.  Like our Facebook page or join our mailing list to be kept updated.


What type of projects can be funded?

In the Artist Development section, you’ll find categories for: Recording, Marketing, Skills and Music Development, Touring, Festivals and Venues are funded.

In the Industry Development section, you’ll find categories for: Strategic Partnerships and Pocket Grants.

There are also Organisation grants to support programs that provide pathways for artist and industry development.


What’s the difference between Artist Development Grants and Industry Development Grants?

Artist Development Grants provide funding for artist and audience development and the creation of original South Australian music.

Industry Development Grants are primarily aimed at artist representatives.  The program aims to support local music businesses to establish and strengthen sustainable partnerships and collaborative projects that support and develop the careers of professional musicians and contribute to a buoyant SA music sector.


When are the grant rounds?

In 2017, there will be three grant rounds in the Contemporary Music Grant Program.

Round One: Closing date 7 April 2017, for activity that commences after 1 July 2017.

Round Two: Closing date 11 August 2017, for activity that commences after 1 October 2017.

Round Three: Closing date 8 December 2017, for activity that commences after 1 March 2018

There will be an information session in the lead up to each closing date, so stay tuned.

You need to be planning months in advance when considering grant funding as the closing dates have long lead times.


What does ‘commencement’ mean?

The ‘commencement date’ is when the project can start (to be eligible). Funding cannot be granted retroactively, meaning that activity that takes place before the commencement date is ineligible for funding within an application. Please keep this in mind for recording and touring dates.


What’s the process for assessing applications?

After your application has been submitted, a panel of local artists and industry representatives (approximately five people) each receive a copy of your application, along with an assessment sheet for measuring your application against the criteria.  It’s worth noting that when reading your application, some of the key areas that the panel consider are:

  1. Artistic quality
  2. How this grant will help towards you reaching your artistic goals
  3. How well is the project scoped and planned

The panel then come together after a couple of weeks and discuss each application as a group.  After deliberating, the panel makes its recommendations to the Minister for the Arts for allocation of the funding.  All applicants are notified on the outcomes following ministerial approval.


What do I need to submit?

You will need to submit a completed and signed hard copy of your application form, responses to application questions, quotes to support your budget, letters of support, and an example of your music. This is referred to as your ‘hard copy’.  Arts South Australia also requires a copy of all the above in digital form on a USB or CD for it to be provided to panel members online for assessment.  Please ensure that all web links in your application are active.


Do you fund classical and jazz?

Yes, Arts South Australia funds all music genres.  However, through the Contemporary Music program, only projects that involve music that is composed and performed by South Australian based artists are eligible.

If you are a jazz or classical musician performing or recording arrangements of pre-existing works, please consider funding through Arts South Australia’s Independent Makers and Presenters program.


Can I get feedback as to why my application has not been funded?

There is no formal feedback provided by the Contemporary Music assessment panel, however if you are unsuccessful and you intend to apply again in future, it’s worth contacting Elizabeth Reid (Project Officer) to get advice on your new application.


What percentage of applications receive funding?

Approximately 36% of applications were successful in receiving funding in 2016. Please note that the number of applications receiving funding in any year depends on various factors such as quality of the applications and the total number of applications received.


How many applications can I put in per round and how often can I apply? 

You can submit one application per round to the Contemporary Music program, in any one category.

You can apply once in every round if you wish.


Can I apply to two different funding programs?

Yes, you may submit an application to the Contemporary Music program and the Independent Makers and Presenters program, if eligible, for different elements of the same project.

You can also apply to the Jon Lemon Artist in Residence Grant Program for the same (or different) project. Please note the dates for this program are separate to the Contemporary Music program.


I’m not certain that my project is eligible, should I apply anyway?

Preparing an application is a lengthy process and while it can be a useful process to go through for planning a project, if you’re unsure of eligibility, please discuss with Elizabeth Reid (Project Officer) prior to preparing an application.


What sort of expenses can I include in my grant application?

This varies depending upon which category you are applying for – please refer to the detailed sections for each funding category.


Can I get a grant to buy equipment?

No, equipment purchases are not eligible for funding.  However you can include the cost of equipment hire in your application.


Will I get all the money I ask for?

The Contemporary Music panel quite often part-funds applications.  This is no reflection on the quality of the applications, merely an effort to support as many excellent applications as possible.  However, before offering part-funding, the panel considers your project budget carefully to assess whether you will still be able to do what it is that you’ve applied for funding towards.

If you believe that you will not be able complete your project with only part-funding, you should mention this as a note to your budget.


Do I have to use the budget template in the application form?

The template in the application form is a guide only.  Most applicants supply a budget specific to their project needs in a format of their choice.  Please ensure that you clearly outline all expenses and income, and include quotes as supporting material.


What other supporting material should I include with my application?

Most definitely include a copy of your music, your bio/one sheet, and letters of support (for example from industry peers) if you have some.


What music examples should I submit?

Every applicant should submit some music by the artist that will benefit from the project, to help the panel make an assessment based on artistic quality.

If you are submitting a recording grant, you are required to submit at least 80% of the songs that you intend to record professionally in some demo form.

If you’ve got previous recordings, you may wish to include these too.


In what format should the music be supplied?

A CD if possible should be submitted with the hard copy of your application.

Please only submit MP3s in your digital copy.  No WAV files or video files should be included in your digital copy.  Online links to either private and/or public Soundcloud tracks are encouraged.


If I get funding, do I have to provide an acquittal, and if so, when?

If you are successful, you enter into a funding agreement with Arts South Australia for your project.  Upon completion of your project you are then required to submit an acquittal within three months of completing your project, which includes an artistic and financial report.


Can I speak with someone from Arts South Australia about my application?

Yes, we are always happy to talk about your application, however please do this at least two weeks before the closing date.  Please contact Elizabeth Reid (Project Officer).


Do I have to have an ABN to apply?

No, you don’t have to have an ABN, however if you are a professional practicing musician you should consider applying for one.


On the application form, what does Auspicing mean?

In this context, Auspicing is when you require an organisation to handle the grant on your behalf if you are successful in receiving funding.


Do I need to provide referees?

The Contemporary Music assessment panel prefers to receive letters of support from your industry peers rather than contacting referees directly.


What is the role of the Music Development Office?

The Music Development Office (MDO) is a joint initiative of the Department of State Development and Arts South Australia, intended to facilitate and support the development of the South Australia’s music industry by supporting both creative and business development.  You can read all about it online at and keep up to date through social media: Facebook, twitter, Instagram, YouTube.