Simpler, Fairer, Faster Arts and Cultural Funding

Find out how Create NSW’s Arts and Cultural Funding Program is changing to better support artists, arts and cultural organisations and communities across NSW, helping to grow the arts for everyone to enjoy.

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Introducing a simpler, fairer, faster Arts and Cultural Funding Program

Create NSW provides funding and support to the NSW arts and cultural sector.

The Arts and Cultural Funding Program (ACFP) is one of our main funding programs.

We’ve listened to sector feedback from right across NSW and are making changes to the ACFP to deliver a simpler, fairer and faster model for arts funding that will drive long-term growth and sustainability.

The changes are a key commitment in our Creative Communities policy.

Read the summary of changes to the Arts and Cultural Funding Program.


Simpler, Fairer, Faster Arts and Cultural Funding

The key changes are designed to make funding:


Applying for funding is simpler for applicants with: 

  • funding programs streamlined from 14 to 4
  • less paperwork with 25% shorter application forms
  • 50% less time-consuming reporting required
  • longer-term funding agreements


A fairer model for all by:  

  • giving all eligible organisations the opportunity to apply for multi-year funding through an open, competitive and transparent process
  • introducing a new project funding category targeted to engage priority groups to reflect the diversity of the people of NSW


Faster processes and outcomes by: 

  • making pre-application support resources and meetings available for applicants
  • making faster funding decisions through our refreshed Artform Boards
  • reducing administration by 50% to ensure successful applicants are funded faster
Art and Culture Funding Program has been transformed

The Arts and Cultural Funding Program covers a range of artforms and aims to support innovation, vibrancy and creativity within the sector.

The streamlined model includes four funding streams as below.

Project Funding

  • Creative Nations - projects for First Nations organisations and individuals 
  • Next Steps - professional & skills development (for individuals)
  • Creative Steps – new work development (for individuals) 
  • Cultural Access – projects for individuals and organisations led by or for priority area groups

Regional Arts Touring

Regional Arts Touring – with two rounds per year to bring high-calibre work to NSW regional audiences and communities

Multi-year Funding

Longer-term multi-year funding programs have been introduced to provide the funding stability needed for organisations to grow and build long-term capacity.

Applicants will have multiple opportunities to apply for the different categories of multi-year funding including:

  • 2-year
  • 4-year
  • 8-year (4+4) - for eligible organisations currently receiving Create NSW multi-year funding $350,000 or greater

National Partnerships

National Partnership agreement will not be subject to change under the reforms.

National partnership agreements include:

  • National Performing Arts Partnership Framework (NPAPF)
  • National service organisations such as Arts Law Centre of Australia
  • Visual, Arts, Craft and Design Framework (VACDF)

NSW organisations under these agreements are funded jointly by Creative Australia and Create NSW. 


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Join our Artform Boards - Expression of Interest open

Create NSW is looking to appoint NSW based arts and cultural practitioners that demonstrate strong sector knowledge, strategic thinking and diversity of experience and expertise to 10 Artform Boards. Find out more

Our priorities for arts and culture funding
  • First Nations stories and communities
  • Western Sydney and regional NSW
  • Next generation of creatives and audiences
  • Broad and inclusive communities and content
  • Accessibility and Equity
Megan Cope, artist planting timber poles
Megan Cope planting Kinyingarra Guwinyanba poles, Photo Cian Saunders Image credit: Megan Cope planting Kinyingarra Guwinyanba poles, Photo Cian Saunders

Creative Communities sets the blueprint for how we can better support a thriving sector

At the end of 2023, the NSW Government released the state’s 10-year integrated policy for arts, culture and the creative industries, Creative Communities

Creative Communities sets the blueprint for how we can better support a thriving sector, for those who live, work and visit NSW, and made a series of commitments based on feedback from across the state.

The NSW Government is delivering one of the first commitments in Creative Communities with the transformation of the Arts and Cultural Funding Program.

Learn more

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Contact Create NSW

Arts Funding and Development Team

Email enquiries:

Phone: (02) 9228 4578

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