Income Lost – Small Grants


For emerging and experimental artists and arts workers across all artforms and creative disciplines


Eligible Local Government Areas:


Lake Macquarie



Port Stephens



If you are in a position to give, we’re asking for donations to assist us to hand out more grants like this one to help emerging and experimental artists impacted in the Hunter.


Create NSWThis is a new prototype service currently under development at Octapod. The August 2021 Lost Income program is supported by Create NSW

Have you been impacted by the Hunter or Greater Sydney lockdown OR, have you lost work as a result of recent changes in COVID19 restrictions? This project is aimed to soften the impact of income lost by emerging and experimental practitioners across all creative disciplines- check out our eligibility below and apply now to receive your share.

If you had a gig and it had to be cancelled, if your project has been postponed, if your exhibition was dropped – these things are outside of our control right now and Octapod hopes that our small grant program is both an encouragement to keep on keeping on, and a small amount of financial relief.

The application process is super simple, around 200 words in total plus providing some samples of work.

Apply for EITHER a full day or a half day’s worth of lost work – let us know in your application which is more suitable for you.

We used the National Association of Visual Artists (NAVA) Practitioner Fees guidelines from the NAVA code of practice for the full and half day rate offered:

  • Full day payment: $462.42
  • Half day payment: $231.21

To ensure the ongoing control of COVID-19 in our community it is vital that we follow public health orders and restrictions. So keep doing the right thing!

Your name and contact information will remain confidential and not share with anyone outside Octapod.

This grant is NOT competitive and we hope to help as many people as possible.

Eligibility requirements

Octapod supports all artforms and creative disciplines, this includes visual art, music, dance, performance, creative poetry and prose. 

You must be:

  • An Australian citizen, permanent resident of Australia or have a valid working visa for Australia
  • Living and or working in one of the 5 areas we support: Cessnock, Lake Macquarie, Maitland, Newcastle or Port Stephens.
  • An emerging and/or experimental practitioner or worker

When we talk about experimental we define it in a present tense. Experimental art – of any discipline – will have the following characteristics:

  • It is identifiably innovative
  • It probes the limit of the chosen discipline, or revels in the margins between two disciplines
  • It contains a degree of trial and error, or an unknown outcome – this is either inherent within the project, or can be demonstrated in the leadup to the project
  • It doesn’t always succeed

For our purposes Octapod choses to define an emerging practitioner as:

  • Someone in the first decade of their creative practice 
  • Either before, or in the first five years following a key milestone in your career. This can include, but is not limited to:
    • Securing representation. In visual art this might be a commercial gallery, or in music a record label deal. 
    • Achieving something big. In literature this might mean winning a national award, or in dance, a key residency.
    • A sense of self. We might never feel like we ‘have made it’ but in many ways we can sense when we have moved on from our emerging practice. This might include the commencement of a paid position or the ability to live exclusively off your creative earnings. It might also be a point where our work has achieved a signature style.


Applications for this round of funding closed 22 August 2021 and we are working through the applications.

If you are in a position to give, we’re asking for donations towards a further round of this grant to help emerging and experimental artists impacted in the Hunter.

More avenues of support to explore

State government support

Read more about the grants, loans and financial assistance opportunities available through Service NSW to find out if you could be eligible.

Support Act Crisis Relief Grants

For professional musicians, crew and music workers, this avenue includes three types of grants: a COVID “MusicKeeper” or “CrewKeeper” Crisis Relief Grant or a “non COVID” Crisis Relief Grant. Visit the Support Act website.

Funds for new projects

Local Council Grants and Funding

See your local Government Area to see if you could access grant funding for a new project. Remember, if required, Octapod can auspice your project to enable you to access funds.

Try things like ‘grants and funding’ in the website search bar to find out more information from your local council, or find their phone number and give them a call.

Visit the Cessnock City Council website.

Visit the Lake Macquarie City Council website.

Visit the Maitland City Council website.

Visit the City of Newcastle website.

Visit the Port Stephens Council website.

Regional Arts NSW quick response grants

Eligible individuals can apply for $3000 and organisations for $5000. If you require an auspice, Octapod can help with that! Get a new project up and running with this grant. Visit the Regional Arts NSW website.

Awesome Newcastle (Newcastle Projects only)

Awesome Newcastle provides a $1,000 CASH grant every month to help community projects in Newcastle, Australia. No strings attached.

Know of more?

Do you know of more opportunities that might be helpful to list here? Please email us at as we would love to increase the information we are sharing here.