Sustaining Creative Workers initiative

The Sustaining Creative Workers initiative seeks to support the continued work of Victoria’s independent creative practitioners who have been negatively impacted by coronavirus (COVID-19).

Sustaining Creative Workers initiative


Sustaining Creative Workers delivers quick-response funding to professional independent creative practitioners, sole traders, freelancers, collectives and micro-organisations/businesses whose work and livelihoods have been negatively impacted by coronavirus.

It will support creatives, across all creative disciplines, to continue to work in their creative field, adapt to change, research and develop projects, develop their product or skills, and/or connect with new audiences or markets.

The program will be delivered state-wide and in partnership with Regional Arts Victoria and Arts Access Victoria.

Funding available

Applications will be accepted for requests:

  • Up to $5,000 for individuals, sole traders and freelancers
  • Up to $10,000 for collectives, micro-organisations and businesses*
  • Up to $2,500 in additional access funding for applications from Deaf and Disabled creatives, artists, arts workers and disability-led organisations/businesses

* Micro organisations/businesses are those that employ less than 5 Full Time Equivalent staff.

Who can apply

Sustaining Creative Workers accepts applications from Victorian-based independent creative practitioners, sole traders, freelancers and creative micro organisations/businesses, with at least five years of professional experience (with the exception of Stream 3), that have been negatively impacted by coronavirus.

Applications are encouraged from a wide range of creative disciplines including, but not limited to, visual arts/craft, literature, contemporary dance/physical performance, community creative practice, circus, cabaret, music, sound art, theatre, fashion, design, screen and digital games, multidisciplinary and experimental work.

Sustaining Creative Workers has four streams:

  • Stream 1: First Peoples creatives/artists, micro organisations/businesses from across Victoria with a minimum track record of 5 years in professional public outcomes.
  • Stream 2: Metro and Outer Metro Melbourne creatives/artists, micro organisations/businesses with a minimum track record of 5 years in professional public outcomes.
  • Stream 3: Deaf and Disabled creatives/artists and arts workers or disability-led micro organisations/businesses from across Victoria.
  • Stream 4: Regional Victorian creatives/artists, micro organisations/businesses (with the exception of the groups above) with a minimum track record of 5 years in professional public outcomes. Note – applications for this stream must be submitted through Regional Arts Victoria.

    For Stream 4, applicant’s postcode must reflect their residence or location of the organisation/business in one of the  48 local government area classified as ‘regional’ by the Victorian State Government. You can find a list of these local government areas here. Please contact Regional Arts Victoria if you are uncertain.

The initiative will support activities including (but are not limited to):
o  Planning and adaptation to the newly emerged environmental context
o  Research and development
o  Products and/or skills development
o  Exploration of new ways to engage audiences for existing or new work
o  Development/exploration of markets for your creative work

Given the uncertain environment, confirmed outcomes or presentations are not required for this program.

Please contact program staff if you are unsure which stream to apply to.

Key dates

Round opens: 9am, 30 April 2020 using the Creative Victoria Grants Portal or for regional applicants, applying through Regional Arts Victoria.

The program will be open on an ongoing basis and applicants can apply at any time up to 1 June 2020 or until the funding pool is exhausted.

Only one application is accepted per applicant over this period.

It takes a minimum of 3 weeks from submitting your application until funding results are available.


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