Regional Arts Fund

The Regional Arts Fund

What is the Regional Arts Fund?

The Regional Arts Fund (RAF) is a grant funding program that supports arts and cultural development projects in regional, remote and isolated communities. It is delivered nationally by RAA through its member organisations.  In 2015 the RAF program is funded by the Commonwealth Government through the Ministry For the Arts.

How do I apply?

All applications for the Regional Arts Fund are made to, and assessed by, the relevant State or Territory Regional Arts Organisation. Simply scroll down and click on the relevant link to go to your State or Territory website.

About the Regional Arts Fund

RAF currently operates as a quadrennial funding agreement between the Ministry for the Arts and Regional Arts Australia. The initial agreement commenced in 2001 with a grant of $10.1 million.

In 2004 the funding pool was increased to $16.1 million and reduced to $11.8 million in 2008.  CPI adjusted, to restore the fund to 2004 levels; RAF needs to be increased by $7.5 million, less than $2 million per annum for this vital national program.

In 2012, the total value of the Fund was $12.5 million over the four year agreement. The RAF program has far reaching benefits for the size of its investment:

  • During the 2008–2012 agreement, 723 applications for support were from first-time applicants
  • 21% of applications over the past four years were received from applicants classified as remote and very remote
  • Over a previous four year period, successful RAF applications ($9.3 million) leveraged a further $17 million in additional financial support from business, state and local funding sources

 The early years of the Regional Arts Fund

The Fund was established in 1996 and initially administered by the Australia Council for the Arts which devolved the funds to the State and Territory Arts Ministries for distribution. In 2001, the distribution of the Fund was transferred from the Australia Council for the Arts back to the Federal Government Department managing the Fund (The Department of Transport and Regional Services). As part of this transition. the RAA member organisations, plus the Northern Territory Government, were contracted to deliver the RAF program.

Currently Regional Arts Australia co-ordinates the management of the Regional Arts Fund, working with the Regional Arts Fund Managers in each member organisation to administer a streamlined reporting and grants process for our regional and remote applicants. The collated recommendations for funding Community Grants are made by relevant state/territory peer assessment panels. These panel recommendations are then submitted to the Ministry For The Arts and subsequently provided to , and endorsed by, the Arts Minister, Senator George Brandis QC.

The Main Objectives of the Regional Arts Fund

  • Encourage and support sustainable cultural development in regional communities, rather than ‘one-off’ events
  • Assist sustainable economic and social development
  • Develop partnerships (e.g. local government, local businesses, community groups) which leverage financial or in-kind support and encourage ongoing collaboration for cultural activities and broaden community engagement
  • Assist the development of cultural networks, to facilitate information exchange and co-operative relationships
  • Increase employment and professional development opportunities for, and raise the profile of, regional and remote artists
  • Increase skills development initiatives for individuals and organisations in regional and remote communities, with a particular focus on youth, disadvantaged, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander and/or isolated communities

There are Two Types of Regional Arts Fund Grants


Quick Response Grants are intended to assist regional artists, arts organisations and communities to take up professional or skills development or to assist arts organisations and communities to take up small project opportunities which would otherwise be unavailable to applicants or limited by the constraints of other funding programs.

In order to ensure that the funding is available equitably, this grant will be allocated on the basis of a maximum of:

  • up to $1,500 per grant for individuals with a maximum of $2,500 per applicant over the four-year funding period; and
  • up to $3,000 per grant for organisations per financial year, with a maximum of $6,000 over the four-year funding period

There are no formal closing dates for Quick Response Grants, with applications assessed on a rolling basis. Funds are allocated on the basis of merit until expended.

Quick Response Grant applications will be assessed by Member Organisations with decisions made and recipients notified within 15 working days from the date the application is submitted.


These grants are intended to assist cultural development projects that meet the objectives and eligibility criteria of the Regional Arts Fund.

Competitive grant rounds are held in each State and Territory annually. Most RAA Member Organisations deliver two funding rounds per year, with the exception of Regional Arts New South Wales. Member Organisations are able to determine the grant types and maximum grant amount available to applicants under this category, based on their state/territories need and the quantum of funds allocated to the state/territory.

All Community and Regional Quick Response Grant applications are now online, with each state and territory developing application and acquittal online forms to suit the specific needs of their communities. Each state/territory has dedicated RAF Managers that can advise applicants about their proposals.

National Strategic Projects

Regional Arts Australia, and its member organisations,  receive an allocation under The Regional Arts Fund Program to respond to emerging developments from the delivery of the RAF grants programs. In the current Regional Arts Fund Grant 2013- 2016 Deed, these National Strategic Projects address four key priority areas as endorsed by the Ministry For The Arts:

  1. Animating Spaces
  2. Creative Social Enterprise
  3. NBN Creative Implementation; and
  4. Indigenous Engagement

To view a list of the 2014/15 National Strategic Projects  click here: 150722 RAA NSP Outline report for website

Follow the links below to go to your state or territory RAF funding page

For information about the RAF in Queensland, click here.

For information about the RAF in New South Wales, click here

For information about the RAF in Victoria, click here

For information about the RAF in Tasmania, click here

For information about the RAF in South Australia, click here

For information about the RAF in West Australia, click here

For information about the RAF in Northern Territory, click here

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  • The Regional Arts Fund is an Australian Government programme that supports sustainable cultural development in regional and remote communities in Australia.
  • As a supporter member of the Indigenous Art Code we are committed to the principles of ethical trade in Indigenous visual art as set out in the Code.