Grants & Support Initiatives


Applications are now closed | Keep an eye out for 2024 grant round announcements!

Do you have a burning idea that you are keen to explore? We’re offering Jump Start cash grants and access to rehearsal space for ideas which need exploring further, and the space and time to do it. These are seed ideas which we are keen to develop.

A successful Jump Start offer will include:

  • Cash contribution: up to $3,000 (+ up to $2,000 in access costs if required)
  • Access to rehearsal studio space (one week)
  • Access to co-working and meeting spaces
  • Opportunity for an informal progress showing, however this is not a requirement

Expectations of grant recipients:

  • Attend professional development sessions provided by Geelong Arts Centre
  • Attend gatherings to meet fellow grant recipients and to connect with the Creative Engine community of creatives
  • Complete studio rehearsal period during allotted eligible time (agreed upon at time of grant acceptance)
  • Attend photo opportunity with fellow grant recipients on Monday 9 October
  • Complete an informal acquittal at the conclusion of your development period

This program creates a safe environment for artists to work on new ideas with the space and time to explore. Successful applicants will be encouraged to share activity on social media, and to work with Geelong Arts Centre’s marketing team to generate proactive publicity opportunities.

Successful applicants will be asked to attend a private sharing / discussion of their development with Geelong Arts Centre’s programming team.

Selection Criteria


What are your/the project’s connections to Geelong? Why is this project relevant currently for Geelong audiences and communities? How does this project support your current practice and how may the project contribute to your professional career development?


In your approach, be that through art form, story or concept – what innovation is being explored? What specific creative outcomes are you hoping to achieve from this exploration?


What considerations have you made for the project? How will you achieve your creative output/s? What do you need for this project to be a success? How will you support your own wellbeing and that of your collaborators?

Eligible Rehearsal Periods

Applicants must be available to complete their studio rehearsal time during one of the eligible allotted weeks listed below:

  • Monday 13 – Friday 17 November, 2023
  • Monday 11 – Friday 15 December, 2023
  • Monday 15 – Friday 19 January, 2024
  • Monday 29 January – Friday 2 February, 2024
  • Monday 5 – Friday 9 February, 2024

Are you eligible?

If you work or live in Geelong and surrounding regions or you can demonstrate significant connection to the region, then YES! You are eligible.

Q. I’m not from the area, how can I demonstrate connection to the region?

A. Factors that will be considered in assessing your connection to the region (outside of living or working in Geelong) may include:

  • Are you developing a body of work here? Will your project be premiered in Geelong?
  • Do you have a robust strategy for community inclusion in your project?
  • Are you interested in partnering with other organisations in Geelong or the surrounding region to deliver workshops or events for local artists and/or community?
  • Have you previously presented work or delivered artist/community workshops in the region?
  • Can you demonstrate any previous connections or partnerships with local artists, companies or organisations?

Q. Do all project partners and performers have to be connected to Geelong?

A. No! We encourage collaboration between artists and organisations from further afield, including with national or international project partners. Please ensure your key project applicant can demonstrate clear connection to Geelong and surrounding regions. Creative Engine will accept applications from individual artists, collectives and established arts companies.

Q. I have received a Creative Engine Grant before. Can I apply again?

A. Absolutely! We are more than happy to look at supporting multiple developments for one project or from creatives who have previously received support. However, if you have a current grant that has not yet been acquitted, please contact prior to submitting an application. Depending on the circumstances, it may be difficult for the panel to assess a project for a new grant where there is a current incomplete development already underway.

Access and Diversity

We support the diversity of lived experiences in the d/Deaf and Disabled community and encourage multiple-marginalised Disabled people to apply. An additional $2,000 in access costs is available for the Jump Start grant. Please email discuss accessibility requirements.

Priority will be given to artists who work in, live in, or can demonstrate a strong connection to the G21 region.

We have an express commitment to First Nations artists, PoC artists, and artists from lower income backgrounds.

Applications will be reviewed by a curatorial panel who will take into consideration the calibre of the artists, the quality of the creative idea and the connection to Geelong.

Selection Panel:

Joel McGuiness
Chief Executive Officer and Creative Director, Geelong Arts Centre

Penny McCabe
Head of Programming, Geelong Arts Centre

Michelle Sewell
Senior Producer, Creative Industries and Programming, Geelong Arts Centre

If you have any questions please email

Key Dates:

Applications Open (3 Weeks) - Monday 11 September 2023
Applications Close - 9:00am, Monday 2 October 2023
Successful applicants notified - By Thursday 5 October 2023
Photo opportunity with fellow grant recipients - Monday 9 October 2023

Period in which development is to be completed:
Projects awarded a grant in this round must complete their development prior to 10 February 2024.

Image Credit: Perfect Pairing By Xavier McGettigan ft. Attitude Dance Company
2021 Creative Engine Grant Recipient:
Jump Start
Photo by:
Sandy Gray