The Regional Arts Fund is an Australian Government program that supports and promotes participation in, and access to, Australia’s arts and culture in regional, rural and remote Australia.
Regional Arts Fund objectives:
- To encourage and support sustainable economic, social and cultural development in regional communities;
- To develop partnerships and networks which leverage support for projects and encourage ongoing collaboration;
- To develop audiences and broaden community engagement with the arts; and
- To increase employment, professional development opportunities and profile of regional and remote artists.
The Regional Arts Fund is administered in each State or Territory by Regional Program Administrators (Regional Arts Australia’s member organisations and affiliated organisations).
Two types of grants are available in each State and the Northern Territory: Community Projects and Quick Response Grants.
Each Regional Program Administrator makes decisions about the delivery of RAF in their jurisdiction and there are slight differences in each jurisdiction. Some States offer further RAF programs such as Country Arts WA’s Showcase Fund and Regional Arts NSW’s Small Regional Festival Support program. Check your relevant Regional Program Administrator’s website for further information about RAF programs and eligibility:
NSW: Regional Arts NSW
NT: Arts NT
Qld: Arts Queensland
Tas: Arts Tasmania
WA: Country Arts WA
In partnership with the Department of Communications and the Arts, RAA and its member organisations, the RAF provides resources for hundreds of community arts projects each year.
The program provides Funding for competitive grant rounds in each State and Territory, including ‘Quick Response Grants’ and ‘Community Grants’ for arts projects with a focus on:
- artist professional development
- arts worker or community skills development
- community capacity building
- project development
- cultural projects
2015-16 overview of RAF achievements:
- 362 projects were funded
- Total amount of funding awarded was $2,471,882.68
- A further $7,213,548.57 was leveraged ($4,571,884.88 cash and $2,641,663.69 in kind)
- 856 partnerships were formed, with 547 of these being long term
- over half of all partnerships were formed between RAF recipients and other cultural or community organisations
- 54% of all Community Grant and Quick Response Grant recipients were first time applicants to the fund.
- 2785 artists and over 1200 arts workers gained employment through RAF
- 88,644 people participated in RAF projects
- Total audience numbers of 1,269,388 were recorded
History of the RAF
Regional Arts Australia played a vital role in the establishment of the Regional Arts Fund (RAF) in 1996 and, with its member organisations, has managed the fund since 2001 on behalf of the Australian Government.
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. In 2012, the total value of the Fund was $12.5 million over the four-year agreement. In July 2016 RAA signed a new Commonwealth Grant Agreement of $3,371,000 annually over the next four years.