Room to Create Responsive Grants Program Now Open

Monday 05 June 2017

Yarra is often referred to as an “engine room” for the arts because of the many small to medium sized arts organisations that make up much of our creative footprint. There are over 50 live music venues, more than 60 galleries and artist run spaces, and numerous creative hubs and studios.

The Room to Create Program is designed to be quick response and it is incentivised.

The Program pool is $25,000 per annum and funding is capped at $2,000 for a standalone grant or at $5,000 for a matching grant – when the applicant is able to make a matching contribution towards the project.


To be eligible to apply for the funds, the organisation or business entity must manage and/or occupy:

  • a creative space (eg. gallery, performance venue, artist studio, live music venue) that is located in the City of Yarra;
  • if that is a live music venue, the applicant must agree to adopt the Best Practice Guidelines for Live Music Venues developed by the Live Music Roundtable with the Victorian Government. Download the guidelines here:

If applying as an individual, it must be possible to demonstrate that the space is a dedicated creative space that contributes to the creative footprint of Yarra, as outlined above or that the individual is a business entity that occupies or manages a creative space.

The funds may be used for goods and/or services that will assist the creative space to stay in Yarra.

For example, what the funds can be used for:

  • infrastructure works such as fit out of studio or building spaces
  • acoustic treatment related works, such as installing insulation, air locks, sound absorbing materials, gap seals etc.
  • acoustic consultant fees and measuring devices/equipment
  • building surveyors fees related to assessment of an existing building
  • town planning consultants to obtain advice relevant to maintaining a creative space in Yarra, including advocacy where a nearby development is proposed
  • other materials and/or services that may assist with the venue’s management of noise and patron behaviour related complaints

What the funds cannot be used for:

  • to pay for works that have already been done
  • a studio space in a private dwelling/home
  • for expenses that are clearly related to the daily operations of the business including rent.
  • works that would be the responsibility of the property owner if the space/building is leased


Applications are open all year round until the funding pool is exhausted. Applicants will be notified of the outcome within two weeks.

How to Apply

Applications can be made online through Council’s SmartyGrants.

For More Information

Contact Arts and Culture on 9205 5038 or 9205 5212 

Image is of Cecil Street Studios


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