Creative Communities COVID-19 Recovery Program

Residency category guidelines — this category has ended.

The DLGSC and Lotterywest Creative Communities COVID-19 Recovery Program provides funding for artist-in-residence projects that engage communities. They are delivered in partnership with artists and either a local government authority, local school, or community group.

On this page

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Residency finished in March 2022.

The arts play a significant role in supporting communities to tackle disruption and re-establish local connection, strength and resilience beyond the impact of the COVID-19  pandemic.

The Creative Communities COVID-19 Recovery Program provides funding for artist-in-residence projects that engage communities and are delivered in partnership with artists and either a local government authority, local school, or community group. 

The program encourages community connection through local initiatives that strengthen community wellbeing and encourage people to reconnect after a period of physical distancing. 

The program prioritises projects that engage children and their families, and young people in communities who:

  • are experiencing high levels of social, health and/or economic impacts due to COVID-19
  • have limited or low access to arts and cultural programs
  • are located in regional or remote Western Australia and/or
  • reflect the diversity of the State.

Underpinned by the principles of Community, Connection and Collaboration, it is essential that projects embrace community-based arts practice by ensuring:

  • the activities are by, with, and for the community
  • the artists are highly skilled art form practitioners and facilitators
  • the activities are appropriate and reflect the community's aspirations.  

The artist-in-residence activity will support artists and /or arts organisations to carry out creative work at a community facility or across several facilities for a minimum of 4 weeks. The artists and arts organisation/s will work collaboratively with community members and other key partners, to codesign a project that reflects the diverse needs of the participants during the COVID-19 recovery period.

3 stakeholders groups



The Creative Communities – Residency category provides for short term artist-in-residence projects that run for a minimum of 4 weeks.  

The objectives of the program are to: 

  • engage children and their families, and young people in communities  
  • increase participation in, access to, and connection with arts and culture activities for Western Australian communities 
  • create authentic, distinctive and valued creative artworks that help tell Western Australian stories  
  • support local collaborative partnerships to ensure an enduring legacy of arts engagement and participation in the community 
  • increase employment opportunities for Western Australian artists and creative practitioners 
  • increase the activation of key community cultural facilities (such as performing arts centres, galleries and libraries). 

Getting started

Allow enough time 

Start as early as possible to give yourself enough time to develop a compelling project idea and turn it into a detailed application.

Read through this program guide 

It has all the essential information you need to know such as eligibility, what we fund (and what we don’t), how much you can apply for and what support material you can and can’t include.

Gather evidence of participation or consultation with the community  

This is important for community-based activities as it demonstrates you have confirmation of your activity and the people participating in it. It can be letters, emails or quotes from communities, key personnel, events, venues and suppliers.  

Ensure you discuss your project idea with a DLGSC Investment Officer

Contact 61 8 6552 7400 or Toll Free (Country WA callers only):1800 199 090 or to go over your project and any concerns.  

What can I apply for?

The Creative Communities - Residency grants support short term artist-in-residence projects that run for a minimum of 4 weeks. The 4 weeks do not need to run consecutively.

The project must be an artist-in-residence activity which allows an artist/s to carry out creative work at a community facility. The artist/s works closely with community members, using their own experience and skills as the catalyst for community members own creative explorations. 

Activities must comply with COVID-19 restrictions at the time of submission. Check for the current restrictions. It’s possible that circumstances may change. If this happens, an Investment Officer will work with you to amend your approved project.

Who can apply?

  • Applications are open to groups, organisations and individuals.
  • It is recommended that the application is submitted by the party taking the lead in managing the project. If successful, this primary applicant will be issued with the contract and be responsible for receiving payment and acquitting the grant. However, the primary applicant is required to demonstrate collaboration and a partnership between all parties.
  • WA educational institutions (limited to kindergartens, primary and secondary schools) can apply. The artist/s can work with the students and teacher, using their own work, ideas and skills as the catalysts for students own creative explorations.
  • If you are applying on behalf of Aboriginal people you must provide evidence of significant Aboriginal involvement in the conception, development of and participating in the activity.
  • Although WA residency is not a requirement to apply for a grant, if you are applying from outside WA you will need to show the benefits to WA communities and WA artists, creatives, arts or cultural workers in your application.
  • If you are considering submitting an administered/auspiced grant you must contact the department before commencing your application.


The DLGSC, along with project partners Pracsys Economics and the Intelligence Agency in the UK, developed Culture Counts to collect and measure standardised arts participation metrics from organisations, their peers, audiences and participants by interviews and online through mobile devices or computers. 

Culture Counts is available to applicants through this program. Successful applicants will be supported by DLGSC to integrate the specified Culture Counts metrics into the participant assessment feedback on their project. Participants do not need to access the Culture Counts system to provide their feedback. It can be gathered via other non-digital means which applicants can then enter into the system later. 

The data collected will be collated and analysed in aggregate form to communicate the outcomes of the program. This data will not identify individuals, organisations or events and will be made available to the public in non-identified form only. 

Additional financial support will be provided to successful applicants to assist them to undertake the data collection requirements of this program. 

What can’t I apply for?

  • Purchase of capital equipment including instruments, software and computers above $3,000. The total amount of capital equipment per application cannot exceed $3,000.
  • Activity that will be academically assessed or any school curriculum-based activity
  • Capital works such as construction or purchasing of studios, workspaces or gallery spaces
  • Activities already funded by the DLGSC through any other funding programs
  • Fundraising, competitions, prizes and trophies
  • The work of State or Federal government departments
  • Projects or activities that do not involve or benefit Western Australian practicing artists, creatives, arts or cultural workers.

What will make my application ineligible? 

Your application will be ineligible if you:

  • do not adhere to support material limits and format requirements
  • do not adhere to budget requirements including requesting more than 80% of your project cost
  • start the activity before the eligible start date
  • submit a residency that is less than four weeks in duration
  • submit a late application
  • have any key personnel with an overdue acquittal
  • request funding that exceeds the funding cap of the program
  • apply for activity that is delivered as part of an educational institution’s curriculum or will be academically assessed
  • are a staff member of the DLGSC (staff of portfolio organisations may apply subject to meeting the Code of Conduct and Secondary Employment Policy)
  • are a portfolio organisation of the department.  

How much can I apply for?

The Creative Communities – Residency grants are $30,000 each. Projects should be of a scope and scale that reflect an investment of that value. The project must be completed within 12 months of receiving the funds.  

This program may fund up to 80% of your total project cost. You must demonstrate at least 20% income (including in-kind income), or your application will be deemed ineligible.

When can I apply?

This category has ended.

How many times can I apply?

There are no limits to the number of applications you may make to this program, however you may only have a maximum of two successful applications in a 12-month period from the date of your first submission. 

How do I apply?

Please apply using the Online Grants web portal. Make sure you read the rest of the program guidelines before you open the web portal.

More information on how to apply can be found in the application manual.

How will my application be assessed?

Applications to this funding program are assessed internally by DLGSC staff.
All applications are assessed against the four criteria:  

  • Quality
  • Reach
  • Good planning
  • Financial responsibility. 

Your activity must also meet at least one of objectives of the category to be successful.  

Assessors will consider your application against the relevant dimensions and definitions and allocate a weighted score for each of the four criteria. 

Final approval of successful applications depends on available budget and approval by the Minister or delegated authority. 


Dimensions of quality

Imagination, authenticity, originality, inquisitiveness, excellence, captivation, relevance, innovation, challenge, risk and rigour.

Weighting 30%


Quality refers to the level of artistic and cultural significance of the activity. Quality may be demonstrated by, but not limited to; how the creative ideas meets the needs and aspirations of the community, examples of previous artistic work, arts and culture sector support and a strong history in the artist’s practice. It is also demonstrated through the skills and experience of the people involved in the activity, and the alignment of those skills and experience to deliver the project.


Dimensions of reach

Diversity, platform, collaboration, leverage, number and growth.

Weighting 30%


Reach refers to the level of impact the activity is likely to have and the fit of the activity with the program objectives and priorities. Reach may be demonstrated by including information about the community influence and involvement in all aspects and stages of the project, number of participants, potential audience numbers, relevant marketing and promotional strategies.

Good planning

Dimensions of good planning

Realistic, achievable, considered, demonstrated research and/or consultation, evaluation.

Weighting 20%


Good planning refers to the level of consideration which has been given to practically undertaking the activity. Good planning can be demonstrated by, but not limited to; carefully considered preparation, confirmation of key personnel, a realistic timeline and achievable outcomes, documented research and/or consultation, and a process of evaluation.

Financial responsibility

Dimensions of financial responsibility 

Value, comprehensive budget, financial self-sufficiency.

Weighting 20%


Financial responsibility refers to the sound management of the budget. Financial responsibility can be demonstrated by but is not limited to; efficient use of resources, reasonable expenses and an accurate and comprehensive budget. Other sources of income have been considered and included where appropriate and the activity goes some way towards self-sufficiency.

Four components of your application

4 components of your application


There are 4 components of a grant application: core application questions, project target information, financial information and support material.

Each plays a significant and distinct role in creating a whole picture about your activity and tells a story about what you want to do. 

If you need more information on how to prepare your application, please read the application manual or contact an Investment Officer. 

Core application questions

Thinking about the assessment criteria and program objectives, answer the following questions in the online application: 

Q1. What is the artist-in-residence project you are planning? 

What do you plan to do? Describe the artistic concept of the project. Include the creative processes and how the creative ideas meet the needs and aspirations of the community. How will the residency engage the community? 

Further information can be provided in the Support Material by including a community engagement plan.

Q2. Who is the artist or arts organisation involved in your artist-in-residence project?

Provide a brief outline of the artist or arts organisation’s current practice including any relevant experience working with communities. Outline why you have selected this artist or arts organisation to work in your community. Briefly outline the artist or arts organisation’s key roles and responsibilities throughout the project. 

The artist or arts organisation will need to provide further detail in the Support Material by completing the Artist/Arts Organisation Profile and submitting it along with a brief CV and examples of their work.  

Q3. Who is the community involved in your artist-in-residence project? 

Provide a brief description of the community/ies you are working with. How many people do you anticipate being involved?  

List the name/s of any partner organisations who will also be involved and what they will bring to the project. 

Further information can be provided in the Support Material by completing the Host Organisation Profile and confirmation of consultation and/or support from the target community/participants.   

Q4. Why do you need to undertake this artist-in-residence project? 

Provide a brief description of how your community has been impacted by COVID-19 and how this project will help them to recover or reconnect. What are the benefits to the community from this artist-in-residence project?  

Q5. How are you planning to do your project? 

Include when and where it will occur, what space/s the artist/s will need, how many days the artist will work on the project. How will you engage your community in the project? What are the key stages of the project and who will be responsible?  

Further information can be provided in the Support Material by including a community engagement plan.   

Project target information  

You are required to provide relevant project target information for your activity. This information will be considered as part of the assessment of your application. Project target information will be used to provide further clarity on your activity for the assessor and will provide important data for the department for research, analysis and advocacy purposes.

You only need to provide information for the categories and items relevant to your activity.

If your application is successful you will be required to report against the planned project targets at the acquittal stage.

Please contact us if you have any questions.

Support material

The following five support material items are mandatory and must be submitted as part of your application:

  1. Host Organisation Profile – a relevant summary profile including a brief history, key personnel, relevant demographics  
  2. Artist/Arts Organisation Profile
  3. Partnership Declaration – to be completed by both the applicant and the artist/arts organisation 
  4. artist/arts organisation personnel CVs or biography – presented as a single document no longer than two A4 pages in total 
  5. artistic support material which includes relevant, recent examples of the artist(s) own artwork in the units specified below. 

The following support material items are optional:

  1. community engagement plan – presented as a single document no longer than 10 A4 pages in total. This plan is a useful document to provide further context to your creative ideas, explain who the community/ies and project partners are, the strategies to engage the community and steps in delivering the project
  2. confirmation of consultation and/or support from the target community/participants and partners - no more than 10 A4 pages
  3. letters of peer/industry support outside of your activity - no longer than 3 A4 pages. 

Please keep to the page limits and formats. Support material more than the recommended amounts will not be considered.

Units of support material: 


6 minutes of audio (combined total length of all audio submitted for assessment).  

Examples of material 
  • Examples of previous work or activities  
  • Other audio (for example interviews, recordings, presentations) that supports your activity.  
Acceptable limits
  • Maximum 3 links  
  • Maximum 6 minutes total listening time (all files).  

If your audio files are longer than 6 minutes in total, you must specify the exact minute markers the assessor should start and finish listening.  

You must upload audio files to streaming sites like Vimeo, YouTube, Bandcamp or SoundCloud that do not require a log-in to access. Do not use Dropbox for any support material.  

You can find instructions on how to use these sites at the following links:
• YouTube 
• Vimeo 
• Soundcloud
• Bandcamp


6 minutes of video (combined total length of all video submitted for assessment).  

Examples of material 
  • Examples of previous work or activities  
  • Other video (for example interviews, recordings, presentations) that supports your activity.  
Acceptable limits 
  • Maximum 3 links  
  • Maximum 6 minutes total viewing time (all files).  

If your video files are longer than 6 minutes in total, you must specify the exact minute markers the assessor should start and finish viewing.  

You must upload video files to streaming sites like Vimeo or YouTube that do not require a log-in to access. Do not use Dropbox for any support material.  

You can find instructions on how to use these sites at the following links:  

• YouTube 
• Vimeo 


10 images (combined total of all images submitted, excluding any images included in the community engagement plan).  

Examples of material  
  • Examples of previous work or activities.  
Acceptable limits  
  • Maximum 10 images in one of the following formats:  
    • One PDF document containing up to 10 images (maximum file size 5 MB); or  
    • 10 image files (maximum file size 5 MB per image)  

Note: links to images online are not accepted.  


10 pages of written material for example: 

  • literary manuscript  
  • play script  
  • publishing samples. 
Acceptable limits  
  • a single Word or PDF document only, containing a maximum of 10 A4 pages (maximum file size 5 MB).  

Financial information

The financial information in your budget helps to demonstrate that all elements of your activity have been considered, thoroughly researched and costed. A good budget also provides confidence for the DLGSC that your activity will be a sound investment for the State of Western Australia. 

  • Refer to appropriate rates of pay or, where applicable, negotiated fees based on industry standards for your sector 
  • Explain all calculations in the notes section 
  • Include other sources of income 
  • Consider providing quotes for major expenditure items in your support material 
  • Demonstrate thorough planning by including all activity costs, leave nothing unanswered, make sure it balances and all amounts are in Australian dollars. 

You should indicate which expenditure items you want the DLGSC to support. List those items in the ‘Additional Notes’ section of the application budget page. 

If you are registered for GST you should not include GST in the budget figures. All amounts should be in Australian dollars. 

Your funding request is the difference between your expenditure minus your income. To ensure this amount is calculated accurately, seek quotes for all expenditure items (whether or not you intend to include these as support material) and include all costs associated with the activity, even if they are supplied in-kind. 

Many activities will include in-kind contributions in the form of offering something for free or at a discount. More information on in-kind expenditure and income as well as an example of how to demonstrate your in-kind support. 

For each expenditure or income item you add to the budget, use the notes area alongside the item to explain how that item relates to the delivery of your activity and how the cost was calculated. 


Expenditure items can vary significantly from one activity to another. Any legitimate expense that is eligible can be included in the budget.

Do not duplicate costs in the budget form. For example, if you receive a quote for advertising which includes design, do not add an additional item for design. Simply use ‘advertising’ as the expenditure item, and add a note explaining that the cost includes design.

Examples of eligible expenditure items are listed below. Make sure you check the What can't I apply for for ineligible items.

Eligible expenditure items


Expenses related to the management and administration of the activity e.g. telephone/internet, insurance, postage and stationery. Eligible expenditure items in this category may also include accessibility costs (expenditure associated with making your activity accessible to participants or audiences with a disability).

Marketing, promotion and distribution

Costs associated with marketing to your target audience e.g. information, promotion and audience engagement activities, advertising, graphic design, merchandise photography, videography, public relations and production of marketing collateral.

Preparation, development, production and exhibition/presentation

Costs related to the creation, development, production and delivery of the activity or its deliverables, including the costs of presentation. Eligible items may include venue hire, lighting hire, set construction, manufacturing costs, recording fees, rehearsal space hire, props and audio-visual costs.

Salaries, fees and living allowances

Expenditure in this category should include salaries, fees and allowances for all key personnel, with separate components itemised in the budget notes. We support appropriate rates of pay for all people involved in your activity. Refer to the following websites for information on industry standard payment rates:

If these standards do not apply to your activity then you must outline how reasonable rates have been calculated. For long-term activities, it may be appropriate to pay artists a rate based on a yearly salary for a similar kind of work. If this is the case, you need to clearly explain the rationale for the pay rate in your budget notes.  

All rates should be relative to level of experience.

Please note that organisations, such as Media, Entertainment and Arts Alliance, predominantly provide information on minimum base rates for employees engaged on a full-time, part-time or casual basis. Rates for artists and arts workers engaged as contractors will include a loading to cover the costs of being self-employed. Full-time, part-time and casual rates do not factor in these costs and should not be used when engaging contractors.

Travel and freight

Costs associated with transporting people, equipment or goods. Eligible items may include fares (taxi, airplane, bus etc.), tolls, land or air freight, and vehicle hire.


This program does not fund 100% of your activity costs so you must demonstrate at least 20% income ($3000 minimum), or your application will be ineligible. 

Eligible income items

Earned income

May include ticket sales, product sales, royalties, artwork and/or merchandise sales. For performances, this amount should factor in the number of performances, average ticket price and projected venue capacity.

Corporate sponsorship

List any income received through sponsorship from corporate bodies or businesses. Income received through government sponsorship should be included in the relevant government income category.  

Philanthropic donations

May include contributions from fundraising, crowdfunding, donations, gifts and bequests. All grants and sponsorship being sought from local government, State Government, Australian government, and other government sources must be included, whether or not this support has been confirmed.  

Other income

If you are making a cash contribution, or someone is providing cash to the activity, list this item as a ‘cash contribution’ or similar. Include any other income source that does not fit within any of the above categories and provide enough detail to identify the income source.  

In-kind expenditure and income

Some expenses may be offered to you for free or at a discount. This might be borrowed equipment, the use of a rehearsal space, donated or discounted goods or services, volunteers (including yourself), negotiated discounted fees and allowances. Anything given to your project at no expense to you is considered in-kind. 

All in-kind items must be included as a budget item under the in-kind expenditure category. The corresponding recognition of in-kind income is created automatically in your online application, and you do not need to enter any in-kind income budget items. The total in-kind expenditure must always equal the total in-kind income.

If, for example, you are hiring a venue, which would normally charge $2000, and you have successfully negotiated an $800 (40%) discount, you would include Venue Hire Fee as a budget item under the expenditure category of $1200 and $800 under the in-kind expenditure category.

Additional notes

This section of the budget provides an opportunity for you to detail any additional information you feel may help to clarify items within your budget. For example, for fees and salaries you can indicate in this section how you calculated your amount.
You should use this section to indicate which expenditure items you want the department to support.


The Australian Taxation Office (ATO) considers any grant payment to be taxable income for the purposes of your annual income tax return. If you receive a grant you are encouraged to discuss your tax implications with your tax agent or the ATO.

Registered for GST? 

If you are registered for GST you must show your expenditure items exclusive of the GST component. For example, you have been quoted $550 including GST for lighting hire. In your expenditure budget you would only show lighting hire of $500.
If you are registered for GST and your activity is funded, the department payment will include a 10% GST component to cover those items on which GST is payable.

Not registered for GST?

If you are not registered for GST you must show your expenditure items inclusive of the GST component. For example, you have been quoted $550 including GST for lighting hire. In your expenditure budget you would show lighting hire of $550.

If you are not registered for GST and your activity is funded, the department payment will include the GST component for those items on which GST is payable.

Acquittal report

If you’re successful you will be required to fill in an acquittal report when your activity has finished. An acquittal report details your activity and how you spent the grant. The acquittal report will be available for you to access in Online Grants once a copy of your signed funding agreement has been received. 

Your acquittal report must be submitted within 90 days of the activity completion date as specified in the funding agreement.

You will need to attach relevant documents, images and videos that substantiate the delivery of the activity and that may demonstrate the impact and outcomes achieved. 

You will also need to report on the target outputs you defined in your application.

The report will also include your activity budget and you will be required to enter all the actual figures against each budget item and add any additional items not in the original budget. Variations between budget and actual figures are acceptable; however, you must provide an explanation for large variations in the Notes for that item. As you enter actual figures, the activity profit/loss will be automatically updated and displayed at the top of the Financial Information page. 

The funding acquittal report also includes the option to provide feedback to help us to continually review and improve the service we provide.

Assistance for applicants

More information on how to apply can be found in the application manual.

Project officers are available via telephone and email to answer queries about applications and suitability of activities to specific programs.

If you need extra assistance due to disability, language barriers or any other factor that may disadvantage you in completing your application, please contact us.

The advice provided by project officers does not guarantee the success of your application.

Due to the high number of applications received, each funding round is highly competitive.

All applications are considered on their own merits and against the assessment criteria and program objectives.

Contact us

Online Grants portal technical support

For assistance using Online Grants or to report any related technical issues, contact the Online Grants Support Team:

Project officers

For enquiries relating to this funding program, including advice or assistance with your application, contact a project officer:
Telephone 61 8 6552 7400
Toll Free (Country WA callers only) 1800 634 541

Assistance for people with disability

The department is committed to supporting applicants with disability. Information can be provided in alternative formats (large print, electronic or Braille) upon request.

If you require special assistance in preparing your application, please call 61 8 6552 7400 or toll free for regional WA callers on 1800 634 541.

Family, friends, mentors and/or carers can attend meetings with you.

If you are deaf, or have a hearing or speech impairment, contact us through one of the following:

Interpreting assistance

For interpreting assistance in languages other than English, telephone the Translation and Interpreting Service on 13 14 50 and ask for a connection to 6552 7400 or 1800 634 541.

Regional applicants

Toll Free (Country WA callers only): 1800 634 541.

Email the project officers:

Page reviewed 25 August 2022