Individual Artist Development: Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Arts Development

The Individual Artist Development program assists with professional development opportunities. Artists and arts administrators can apply for support to undertake training that is relevant to their art practice, which can include:

  • mentorships
  • arts related business courses
  • work placement, secondment or attachment to festivals or arts organisations
  • master classes
  • workshops
  • attendance at conferences.

Mentorships are a way to develop new artistic and conceptual skills and focus on career planning and professional capacity building. They are usually self-directed. Artists should plan, initiate and develop their proposal with their chosen mentor. You can apply for fees to pay a mentor, studio hire fees and travel to facilitate the mentorship.

Emerging artists can apply to undertake a one-on-one professional relationship with a leading arts practitioner.

Established artists wishing to undertake mentorships can apply through the Project Assistance program.

Individual Artist Development also provides funding for individuals to undertake arts-related business courses through approved and recognised training organisations. Examples include:

  • a musician taking a music management or marketing course at Ausmusic SA
  • participation in community arts and cultural development courses offered by appropriate training institutions or arts organisations
  • attendance at interstate arts-business short courses not available in South Australia.

Funding is available to subsidise short course fees for training. Funding is not available for long-term training, accommodation or travel expenses.

Applicants seeking funding to undertake master classes, workshops or conference attendance must show how the activity will benefit their arts practice development.

This program also supports work placements, secondments or attachments to some of South Australia's leading festivals or organisations.

You must show how such an opportunity would benefit your arts practice development. Any study undertaken in association with the placement must be through an approved and recognised organisation.

Download a PDF list of previous Major Commission grant recipients:


Stephanie Lord - Arts Development Officer, ATSI Arts & Programs
(08) 8463 5450

Arts South Australia may ask you to confirm your Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander identity. This must be approved by an organisation registered under the Corporations (Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander) Act 2006.

You are also asked to identify your professional status on the application form which will be taken into account.

Please read the criteria specified in Essential reading before applying.

The following criteria are considered when assessing Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander funding applications:

  • the appropriateness of a project's content with regard to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures
  • the extent to which the project will enhance and extend or develop the quality of the applicant's artistic practice and benefit your career and reputation
  • the project's overall benefits to the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community: identify your target audience and describe how you might share your work, skills and experience with the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community, arts industry peers and emerging artists
  • the extent to which the project will contribute to the development of the art form, locally, nationally or internationally
  • a track record of achievement and ability to undertake and complete the project.

Applications are assessed by a peer panel of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander representatives from the literature, performing arts and visual arts sectors.

You must contact Arts South Australia to discuss an application, and read and complete the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Arts Development application form.

Support Material

Support material is extra items submitted in support of your written proposal.

Choose support material carefully and submit only material that is directly relevant. Ensure that the quality of your visual support material is of a high standard. Please check with the Project Officer if you have any queries.

If possible, it is recommended that the electronic copy of your application and your support material are submitted together on a single USB. All USBs, and files contained on them, must be clearly identified with the applicant’s name and project title.


The total combined size of your application and support material must not exceed 6MB of data.


This means that your support material must demonstrate your work in a format which is of the highest quality achievable within the data limit. Support material will be viewed by the panel and tabled at the assessment meeting.

Written materials such as CVs, letters of support and media clippings should be included as part of the written application and as such, are not considered support materials, but are useful for providing a history of the artist.

Support material may include:

• books, publications, manuscripts, programs, catalogues etc. These items can be paper-based and provided with your original application.
• URL links to vimeo, youtube or other websites are preferred.
• Music and video support material must be supplied in a format that is both easily duplicated and playable on different computers and tablets. Edited highlights of 3 – 5 minutes are recommended rather than an entire work.
• If you do supply CD-ROMs or DVDs, the material needs to be fully PC and Windows compatible and accompanied by a short written description for conceptual installations or multimedia.

Support material can be collected from Arts South Australia after notification of the result of your application. If not collected within two months of notification, Arts South Australia will dispose of material.

Support material will not be accepted after the closing date.


Other funding sources


We encourage and can advise people to form partnerships, secure joint funding or matching grants and other forms of assistance and resources.
Applicants can also apply for funding through the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Arts Board of the Australia Council for the Arts. If a project is being developed in stages, it is possible to apply to Arts South Australia for funding of one stage and the Australia Council for the Arts for another.

The Australia Council for the Arts can be contacted on t: 02 9215 9000 or free call:
1800 226 912.

Contact Information:

Primary Contact:
Stephanie Lord
Arts Development Officer, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Isla
Email Address:
(08) 8463 5450