Arts Development – Small Grants

For artists and arts workers across all artforms and creative disciplines


Eligible Local Government Areas:

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 NSW

This is a new prototype service currently under development at Octapod. This project is supported by Create NSW


Octapod is pleased to announce a new grants program opening for arts development projects in the Port Stephens and Cessnock Local Government Areas (LGAs). The purpose of these funds is to foster and encourage new development across all artforms and creative disciplines.

Funds of up to $5000 are available for individuals and $10,000 for groups/organisations. There is no minimum funding amount. Parties interested in applying for more than these amounts will need to discuss their application with Octapod BEFORE submitting.

A total pool of $90,000 is available to support:

  • organisation development, this could include, for example: costs of obtaining incorporation and/or charitable status, or the development of strategic, business, or fundraising plans
  • group or collective development, this could include for example: costs of studio recording sessions for a band, costs of graphic design, printing and distribution to produce promotional brochures to promote your group or a group project.
  • individual development, this could include, for example: the purchase of new equipment such as a new microphone, a printing press or personal website, or costs associated with a new training or development opportunity
  • event and project delivery, this could include the full costs of presenting an artistic project or event in one of the eligible LGAs.


Eligibility requirements

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

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 2 eligible LGAs: Cessnock or Port Stephens OR proposing a project which will be staged in one of the two eligible LGAs.
  • Proposing an arts related activity.
  • Able to complete your activity before 30 June 2022.


Additional considerations

Octapod intends to distribute all funds into the Port Stephens and Cessnock communities before the end of 2021. Each application will be scored against multiple assessment criteria. All applications will be evaluated by an Octapod Board subcommittee, which will include a guest judge/s.

The main areas of assessment are:

  • Criteria 1: We want to make sure these funds reach these communities. A minimum of 30% of funding will go to applicants living and/or working in Port Stephens or Cessnock (and of course, all successful applicants will be delivering projects within either Port Stephens or Cessnock).
  • Criteria 2: We want to strengthen the creative ecosystem. Applications which support organisation development will be prioritised, in recognition that they offer potential long term benefits for arts and creative development in Port Stephens or Cessnock.
  • Criteria 3: We want to contribute to medium/long term arts development. Applications which can demonstrate that this funding will help propel the organisation, group or individual forward will be prioritised. For example, the purchase of new equipment to help a musician make new work would score higher than the same musician asking for funds to host a single performance.
  • Criteria 4: We want to support projects which could not find support otherwise. All applications will be considered (if you adhere to the eligibility criteria) however this is a competitive grants scheme focused on arts development. It is not as important to us if you are well established or have lots of experience – we want to help you get that experience. So, larger or well established organisations, consider this comparison: intending to scaffold an emerging creative to present and lead their own project would score higher than the same organisation asking for funds to present a project which involves emerging creatives as participants or audiences.
  • Criteria 5: We want to fund achievable projects. Applications which are well considered and which clearly and succinctly explain their intentions will score higher. For example, try to avoid generalisations. In the budget section – instead of: “marketing: $740” a budget which explains: “printed brochures: $660, social media boosted posts: $80” tells us so much more about what you plan to do and how organised you are.


How do I apply?

APPLICATIONS CLOSE: Midnight Sunday 31 October 2021

To ensure an equitable applications process, no applications will be accepted after the closing date, however, depending on funds available, a second round may be announced.

Please ensure you read the grant guidelines carefully before submitting. In your application, try to be as succinct as possible, but be sure to read the criteria above and make sure that you have provided enough information for us to assess your application.

Submit your application before midnight, Sunday 31 October 2021 using the online application form. [Link removed]


Accessibility requirements or more information

Please contact Octapod during the hours: Monday to Friday 10am – 4pm:

  • if you would like to discuss any accessibility adjustments in the application process, such as providing an audio visual version of the application.
  • if you have any additional questions about the grant guidelines or eligibility
  • if this is your first grant application! Get your questions together, and call us to get more insight into grants, and what Octapod could do for you.

02 4021 1605