Room to Create

Our Room to Create Program aims to keep the arts in Yarra by supporting eligible artists and arts organisations and fostering more affordable and sustainable creative spaces.


In comparison to surrounding municipalities, City of Yarra has the highest percentage of residents who identify themselves as creative practitioners.

Yarra continues to be an engine room for the arts, with iconic live music venues, over 60 galleries and artist run spaces, dozens of formal and informal rehearsal spaces, many peak arts organisations, radio stations, film production houses, recording studios and more. However, the pressure of increased land prices and the diminishing availability of affordable warehouse-style spaces has forced many creative people out of Yarra, particularly young and emerging artists.

The Room to Create Fund

The Room to Create Fund is a charitable fund account in partnership with the Lord Mayor’s Charitable Foundation. In 2013, Council committed $100,000 to establish the Room to Create Fund. The Lord Mayor’s Charitable Foundation provided a further $100,000 to match Council’s commitment. Early in 2014, an additional donation of $30,000 was made by the Meydan Group followed by another significant contribution in 2015 of $25,000 from Nelson Alexander through its Foundation Day.

Over time the fund will grow and the interest will be offered as infrastructure grants to the creative sector.

Help build the fund

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Our generous donors 

  • Lord Mayors Charitable Fund
  • Yarra City Council
  • Arch Staver
  • Meydan Group
  • Nelson Alexander Foundation
  • Rob Murray-Leach
  • Timothy Bishop
  • John Wardle
  • John Ballard
  • Katya Johanson
  • Stuart McKenzie
  • Dr Jonathan Hartley
  • Susan Ball
  • Mark Free
  • Phillip Vlahogiannis
  • Behnam Roohizadegan
  • Julie Raynor
  • Leigh Ellwood
  • Matthew Anderson
  • Mike Hoy
  • Kim Swinson

Room to Create Artist-in-Residency program

Yarra City Council is seeking Expressions of Interest for an Artist-in-Residency program at 481 Canning St, North Carlton. Both spaces are venues managed by the City of Yarra. The available space is located on the top floor of a building that is also partially used by the North Carlton Childcare Centre and managed by the City of Yarra. The space is separate and secure, with its own entry access from Canning St.

The residencies are open to artists as individuals, partnerships or collectives. Successful applicants will receive exclusive use of the nominated space for a 12 month period.

Applications open until 9pm Sunday 21 October 2018. 


Find out more about the artists who have been involved with the Room to Create Artist-in-Residency program. 

Responsive Grants Program

The Responsive Grants Program opened on 1 July 2018 and continues until 30 May 2019, or until expended.

The Room to Create Responsive Grant Guidelines 2017-2018 provide further information about eligibility and assessment criteria for the 2017/2018 Room to Create Responsive Grants and the application process. 

You can apply for a grant online.

Got a question?

For assistance or more information, you can ask us online, or contact Arts and Cultural Services on 9205 5089.