These FAQs reference information available in the Application Handbook and Expression of Interest document. Please ensure you have read these by clicking here before going over the information below.

If your question isn't listed or you need more information, please feel free to contact the team at any time.

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Can local government organisations apply?

While local government cannot be a Lead Applicant, there is a crucial role for them to play in fostering discussion and supporting projects formally as a Project Partner in this collaborative process. It is a rare opportunity to stimulate some big-picture thinking about how a creative project can have a positive, lasting impact within each shire. There may be aspects of local government strategic plans that Small Town Transformations would realise. There are likely to be many exciting ideas that emerge from each municipal area. The first stage of applications is Expression of Interest only, so there is no need for local government to narrow their focus to only one small town at this time. On the contrary – this is a time for passionate brainstorming and big ideas. 

The Lead Applicant must be a legally constituted community based organisation. Local government bodies are encouraged to work with the community in partnership to the Expression of Interest application. All applications must demonstrate community support for and participation in the project. Small Town Transformations will not fund or co-fund existing local government programs or initiatives.

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What artforms will be supported?

The focus of Small Town Transformations is the transformative impact that the arts can have on a small town. Any artform might bring together an entire community, or create a new gathering or performance space. The project may involve an artist, designer, architect, games developer, curator, producer, thinker or any other creative practitioner.

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Is help in developing proposals available from Regional Arts Victoria?

Absolutely! Regional Arts Victoria welcomes this – indeed, it’s a critical part of our role in inspiring and fostering arts practice and creative communities around the state, particularly through our network of Creative Arts Facilitators across the state.

Please feel free to contact us well before submitting an Expression of Interest. Please note that while we’re available for advice and support, we are unable to assist with drafting, writing or proofing your application.

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How could proposals demonstrate local community support for the project?

The application documentation and guidelines offer a structured way to respond to the selection criteria. A limited amount of key support material will also be accepted e.g. letters of support expressing the intention to enter into a formal partnership.

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Can Small Town Transformations funds be used to buy assets, buildings or property?

As a rule, funds cannot be used to buy assets, buildings or property. However, if the purchase of assets, buildings or property is a critical component of the plan for a town’s transformation, they may be acquired with the cash or in-kind support of other partners in the project, as long as there is a clear ongoing plan for asset maintenance which would ensure public access and benefit. The focus of the program should be on the town’s transformation not simply on improving or acquiring assets.

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Can the project be a building or landscape renovation?

Funds may be used for the renovation of publicly owned and managed buildings where it is critical to the proposed transformation of a town. There should be a clear ongoing plan for asset maintenance which would ensure public access and benefit. The focus of the program should be on the town’s transformation not simply on improving or acquiring assets.

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Could an application propose transforming a privately-owned building for public use?

Yes. The application must articulate how public use will be evidenced e.g. creation of local artistic panel; proposed program of activity; legacy plan, etc. Applicants must be able to demonstrate that the proposal has broad community support.

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Can Small Town Transformations fund people and programming, as well as public works?

Yes, if there’s a clear articulation of how this will have a transformative impact on the town. For example, communities might propose a participatory performance or event that involves everyone in the town, or a design project that activates existing buildings in the town. For all proposals, it will be important to cost the project management and artist fees into the budget.

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Can the project be a collaboration between more than one small town?

Yes. You may have a vision for transformation that involves artists and communities from more than one town, and a transformation that encompasses more than one town. This would be a single project with multiple outcomes, while the artistic transformations would address a single identified need. The proposal would need to satisfy all of the eligibility and selection criteria. The Lead Applicant must be based within one of the project outcome towns, or have a scope encompassing one of the towns. Note however that the total amount that can be sought remains $350,000.

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What about public sculpture or large visual monuments?

While proposals might incorporate works of public art, a large public structure in and of itself will not necessarily transform a town and leave a lasting legacy to be fostered by a newly-focused community. The proposal must demonstrate the transformative impact that such a work and any related programming would have.

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Will co-funding partnerships need to be sought? Is there a dollar-matching target to reach?

While there is no dollar-matching target, other cash and in-kind contributions are expected from partners in the project. You must value the cash and in-kind contributions of partners and present these in the Projected Budget.

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Is there the prospect of further funds in the future to support ongoing projects and activities?

No. The emphasis of Small Town Transformations is on a transformative project or event. Successful applicants will enter into a contract with Regional Arts Victoria which includes milestones around community participation and legacy planning, and this is expected to be a part of all proposals.

These funds are designed to stimulate long-term transformational change through a major creative project, and proposals should include a plan for sustaining a creative legacy.

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Do applications need to propose the artist(s) they hope to work with, or will artist(s) be assigned by Regional Arts Victoria?

The first stage of the application process is an Expression of Interest, where the community articulates the transformation that they seek to achieve through art, architecture, design or other creative practice. We encourage proposals that involve artist(s) local to the region, and be written in close consultation with artist(s). However, the town’s vision for transformation may be such that it could only be achieved by an individual or a group of artists from beyond the town. Crucial to every application will be an artistic vision that responds to the identified need; the choice of artists and artform is up to you.

Regional Arts Victoria welcomes enquiries from prospective applicants throughout the EOI process and can assist in connecting artists and communities.

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What if $350,000 is too much money – can we apply for less?

No. You need to apply for the full $350,000 and budget to expend all of this money by October 2018. If you have a smaller project in mind please look out for our post on ‘Other Funding Options’ as your idea may be suited to a different grant. Contact us for any further explanation of this.

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Can previous successful applicants apply?

No. In order to continue the investment in regional creative transformation, residents from the five previous successful towns of Avoca, Dookie, Natimuk, Neerim South and Ouyen are excluded from applying a second time, and project proposals for those towns cannot be considered.

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Can we employ a project manager?

We recognise that all the skills for delivery of certain creative projects may not exist within each applicant community. We also
recognise that some projects will need concentrated periods of specialist management. We encourage applicants to budget for the staff that will be required to best develop the proposed project. Watch out for blog postings on this subject and many other specialist topics.

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