CASP is the long-running and much loved small grants program for community arts across regional NSW. It’s a great way a community group or facility can have a Project Come True in their area.
Applications for Arts Upper Hunter Country Arts Support Program open on 28 March 2022 and close 5pm on Monday 16 May 2022 for projects to be completed by early 2023.
Arts Upper Hunter Guidelines.
The Country Arts Support Program (CASP) is a long-running annual small grants program supporting community arts and cultural development across regional NSW.
Arts Upper Hunter’s CASP program provides a wonderful opportunity to community groups and facilities in the Upper Hunter Region to develop a program, event, exhibition, performance, training opportunity or experience in their area.
CASP is not a recurrent fund. It really is for short-term projects with creative outcomes.
The aim of the Country Arts Support Program is to support community arts and cultural development in regional NSW through small grants that:
- Assist locally determined community arts and cultural activities
- Increase opportunities for regionally based groups to access a diverse range of arts programs
- Enable communities to explore and express their cultural identities
- Bring social and economic benefits to the community through training, employment and promotional opportunities
- Lead to greater awareness and appreciation of cultural diversity
- Increase the sustainability and resilience of regionally based community arts organisations
Where the money comes from
Funded by the State Government through Create NSW, CASP is administered by Regional Arts Development Organisations (RADOs) themselves. Arts Upper Hunter is the RADO covering Dungog, Muswellbrook, Singleton and Upper Hunter council areas.
The program is guided by Create NSW’s Arts and Cultural Funding Program’s three major objectives:
- to grow creative leadership and programming excellence in NSW
- to strengthen NSW arts and cultural activity that drives community and social benefits
- to showcase NSW as a leader for strategic arts and cultural governance and strong financial management.
Eligibility: who can apply?
- A not-for-profit incorporated body
- A local government authority
- A collective or group with a nominated administering body (see FAQS below)
- Applicants are required to have a current certificate of currency for Broadform Liability or ‘Public Liability’ Insurance – but see FAQs below
- Applicants are required to be based in the Arts Upper Hunter region covering Dungog, Muswellbrook, Singleton and Upper Hunter council areas. Your projects must also be substantially based in this region.
Who is NOT eligible to apply?
- Individuals – but see the FAQs below for some alternative options
- Groups not based in the Arts Upper Hunter region – your projects must also be substantially based in this region
- Professional touring groups
- Commercial enterprises
- Groups/ensembles and unincorporated associations with no administering body
- Regional Conservatoriums
- Organisations that have applied for or received Create NSW funding for the same activity
- Previous recipients where the use of the grant did not, in the opinion of the assessment panel, conform to the spirit and intentions of these guidelines
- State and federal government departments, including schools (except P&Cs who are incorporated)
- Organisations that have overdue reports or acquittals for funding programs administered by Arts Upper Hunter
- Applicants who have not discussed their project with Arts Upper Hunter.
How much you can apply for and what the money should be spent on …
Grants of up to $3,500 are available, primarily for professional artists’ fees, travel and accommodation.
When should projects happen?
Generally projects should take place between mid July and 31 December 2022. However, if a project does need to go over into 2023, for whatever reason (the pandemic, for example, or it may simply be a project that requires a couple more months’ work) this can be negotiated with Arts Upper Hunter. Projects must be invoiced by 31 October 2022.
Eligible projects including but not limited to:
- Arts activities as part of community festivals or events
- Artist-in-residence programs
- Public art and design projects
- Arts and cultural directories
- Community seminars and forums
- Other local arts initiatives
CASP will not fund:
- Core administrative costs, office costs or the purchase of equipment
- Capital expenses
- Production costs of films, videos, books or other publications
- Fundraising events
- Prizes and adjudication fees
- Applicants who have already received Create NSW funding for the same activities
- General operating expenses or ongoing costs of long-term continuous projects
- Projects that have commenced or are completed
- Sporting activities
- Activities which could be considered part of the curriculum for schools or tertiary institutions
5pm Monday 16 May 2022, AEST
Applications will be assessed against the following criteria:
- Artistic and cultural merit (Merit)
- Relevance, extent and depth of community engagement and participation (Impact)
- Evidence of consultation with and support from the community (Impact)
- Evidence of adequate planning, budgeting and capacity to manage the project (Viability)
- Priority is given to projects which address these criteria. We also give consideration to the Upper Hunter region’s arts and cultural needs and resources.
Contact Arts Upper Hunter.
You must contact the Executive Director of Arts Upper Hunter to discuss your application before it is submitted. Ring John O’Brien directly on 0409 382 509 or email and book a phone call via firstname.lastname@example.org.
Use the CASP SmartyGrants form.
To apply, you will need to complete and submit an application form through Create NSW’s secure online grants system, SmartyGrants, via this form: Arts Upper Hunter SmartyGrants form. You’ll need to set up a SmartyGrants account before you can proceed with your application. You should save your application form on a regular basis and allow plenty of time to review it before submission.
Gather your supporting materials.
You will be required to upload some supporting materials through the SmartyGrants form. Support materials include Letters of Support, insurance certificate, current financial report, and visual, audio or written material that speaks to your project’s goals and strengths. See Checklist below.
Get your wording right.
Be clear about what the grant is for, what the project is aiming to do,why you’re undertaking this project and how you will make it happen. Don’t forget to tell us why you think this truly is an exciting project for your community. And we recommend you have someone else in your group proofread and check over your application before pressing the “Submit” button.
Consider key groups and special needs.
Please do some solid thinking about who you could reach or engage with. How accessible are your events, promotions, information and membership to people with a disability? Is there a way of adding something extra that might appeal to young people? Is there a way of reaching people living remotely eg by Zoom; or is there a way of documenting what you’re up to (on video say) so that others can share the experience later? Have you considered the needs of the visually impaired?
The NSW Government has a strategy focusing on accessibility and inclusion for all people. How your project addresses this area will be taken into account by the assessment panel.
Get your application in on time!
All applications must be submitted via the Country Arts Support Program (CASP) 2022 Application in SmartyGrants by 5pm Monday 16 May 2022. Applications will not be accepted after that time. Here is the link https://artsnsw.smartygrants.com.au/auhcasp2022.
How we assess your project.
Once your application is received and has been deemed eligible, it will be assessed, rated and prioritised by Arts Upper Hunter’s Assessment Panel. The panel will make final recommendations based on the assessment criteria, artform, and taking into account the needs of the region, the range of projects funded, the broad demographics, distribution, priority groups, and scale.
How we tell you.
A decision should be made by late June 2022. Once a decision has been made, successful candidates will be contacted and a public announcement made. Unsuccessful candidates will also be contacted and may receive feedback if you wish.
Checklist – things to get ready for your application.
- All support material must be relevant to your project and submitted with your application.
- If your project involves working with children and young people, participants must supply a current Working With Children Check Number.
- Applicants should consider access for People with Disability in their information and events – accessibility is a priority for Arts Upper Hunter.
- Letters of Support from partner organisations, intending participants, and anyone else with a stake in the project going ahead (for example a youth service if there’s a youth focus) are greatly encouraged. The assessment panel does read them too! They help us to understand a project, its goals, its supporters, and its relevance to your community.
- Does your project involve creative content or intended outcomes relating to Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander artists, communities or activities? If so, you must provide letters of support from relevant Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander artists and/or communities. We encourage you to discuss this aspect with the staff of Arts Upper Hunter. Please follow this link to view Create NSW’s Aboriginal Arts and Cultural Protocols: https://www.create.nsw.gov.au/news-and-publications/publications/arts-nswaboriginal-arts-and-cultural-protocols/
- Applications must have a current certificate of currency for Broadform Liability or ‘Public Liability’ Insurance (PLI).
With the exception of local government, all applicants are required to provide a current financial report for your organisation or administering body with your application. This would usually take the form of the most recent Profit & Loss report and Balance Sheet.
- It’s crucial that visual, audio or written material you supply speaks to the project and helps us understand what you’re seeking the funding for, in participation, excellence or outcomes.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
** Can I wait to find out if my application is successful before getting Broadform/Public Liability Insurance?
No, we require you to already have PLI. (Most active incorporated associations, for example, have Public Liability Insurance.) Please discuss the issue with the Executive Director if you’re concerned.
** Would it help if I apply for less than the full amount?
Not particularly. We certainly review the budget – but it really is best to apply for the amount you think you need to run the project, in combination with other cash and in-kind support. This might be close to $3500 or it might be much less. We do reserve the right to offer you less (or, in rare circumstances, more) if we think it appropriate.
** We are a small museum/gallery in a Council-owned building – what sort of entity are we?
Please discuss this with the Executive Director of Arts Upper Hunter before you go too far with your application. Where the museum is managed by volunteer staff in an incorporated association, that incorporated association will usually be the applicant, provided they have broadform liability insurance and can provide financial records. Where a museum or gallery is managed by paid Council staff, the applicant will usually be the Council, and the gallery or museum will be included in the Project Information of the form. (Councils don’t have to upload financial statements into the grants form as their financials are on public record.)
** What is an administering body or Nominated Funds Administrator?
If your collective or group is not incorporated, you can still apply for a grant if you have an administering body – in the application form they’re called a Nominated Funds Administrator. An administering body is a legally constituted organisation that will take legal and financial responsibility for a grant if awarded. A signed letter from the administering body will be required with the application. If a grant is awarded, the administering body must also sign the Conditions for Payment of Grant form and is responsible for reporting on the grant within three months of the project’s completion. All correspondence and monies will be directed to the administering body. It is recommended that grant applicants enter into a written agreement with their nominated administering body highlighting respective rights and responsibilities.
(This process is also known as “auspicing”.)
** I’m an individual artist/creative type so I don’t qualify for CASP. What grants & opportunities are available for individuals through Arts Upper Hunter?
Here are a few possibilities:
- AUH will be offering Microgrants to individuals and groups in 2022. These will be valued at $500 or $1000 and are less restricted than CASP (for example, the money can be used to buy equipment).
- Join a local group that might be a good fit – perhaps a CASP grant could be something you can propose once you have found your place in the group.
- Perhaps you can offer your services to a group that does qualify for CASP – consider approaching, for example, an arts and crafts group, a museum, a health or disability service, a school P&C, with a project that will contribute creative or other outcomes to that group (a theatre workshop for young people with a disability, digital animation skills, a music event tying in with an exhibition…)
- There are other grant opportunities around – AUH can advise on federal, state and other grants. Part of our job is conversations with creatives to see what is available to them.
- Subscribe to our e-newsletter ArtSparks on the Arts Upper Hunter website – there’s always news about upcoming grants and prizes and other opportunities.
Photo: taken by Anna Rankmore.