The arts industry in New South Wales is coming to grips with the latest overhaul of the way Create NSW grant funding is processed and allocated, with the state’s arts policy and funding body announcing a “streamlined approach” in which funding recommendations will be made by Artform Assessment Boards chosen by the Arts Minister.

The new Arts and Cultural Funding Program 2019/20guidelines have reduced the 14 previous individual funding rounds to two open rounds each year in the categories of Project, Creative Koori Projects and Annual Organisation funding. Assessment criteria have been reduced from 26 elements to three: merit, viability and impact.

Don Harwin, Arts Minister Minister for the Arts Don Harwin

“We’re also changing the way that applications are assessed,” said Create NSW Executive Director, Investment and Engagement, Elizabeth W. Scott. “We’re calling on the sector – artists and leadership across organisations of all sizes – to help us create inclusive artform-specific Boards that will inform funding recommendations for the Minister,” she said.

The changes are a move away from the previous peer review system. “These Boards will open up conversation across the sector through a shared depth of artform experience from different perspectives,”...