Applications for grants of up to $3000 are still open to community groups in the Upper Hunter wanting to create something a little special for their community.
The grants are part of the Country Arts Support Program (CASP), which allows community groups and facilities to run small but significant projects that encourage people to engage with the arts in their local area.
Arts Upper Hunter Executive Director John O'Brien said applicants don't have to an "arts-oriented" group to apply.
"The main thing is to give people engagement with the arts. And to pay those facilitators and creatives who made it happen," Mr O'Brien said.
Eight projects were funded in last year's program, a record number he said.
The range of projects funded in the past has included exhibitions, workshops where participants learnt to record the sound of their environment, or hold a live music show in an unusual venue, or learn print-making or improvisation.
"The maximum grant a group can apply for is $3,000. That's not a huge payout by any means, but professional creative people often jump at the chance to teach or pass on some of their hard-won knowledge to others."
Perhaps the reason CASP grants have been so successful is how well they work in a country context.
"Country towns are alive with small volunteer groups and incorporated associations valiantly doing wonderful stuff," Mr O'Brien said.
"CASP grants give them the chance to run something a little bit bigger and more focused."
"I'm keen on the ancillary benefits too," says O'Brien, "like a dance program for people with disability, or sculpture-making aimed at youth. Think about how to reach people that maybe don't often 'do' art."
As well as not-for-profit incorporated associations, the grants are available to council authorities and facilities. Unincorporated associations are also welcome to apply, but they will need to be auspiced by a nominated funds administrator with broadform insurance.
The funds are provided by the NSW Government through Create NSW and administered by Regional Arts Development Organisations across the whole state.
Round here, that's Arts Upper Hunter. Applicants can come from anywhere across the Arts Upper Hunter region, which is defined by the council areas of Dungog, Muswellbrook, Singleton and Upper Hunter.
Jump onto the Arts Upper Hunter website to read the guidelines and start the application process.
"And don't forget to call us to discuss the project you're planning," Mr O'Brien said. "Even if it's just half an idea, or you're not sure, do ring me and I'll try to help."
To learn more and apply, visit https://artsupperhunter.com/country-arts-support-program-casp-2023/ or call John O'Brien on 0409 382 509.
Applications close Monday, April 3, 2023.
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