Leading Museums, Museum Leaders

NPEA becomes Catalyst

Meredith Foley, CAMD Executive Officer, NPEA becomes Catalyst, 24 November 2015


Minister for the Arts, Sen. Mitch Fifield.

The Minister for the Arts, Sen. Mitch Fifield, has announced the redesigned form of the National Program for Excellence in the Arts, now rebranded as Catalyst – Australian Arts and Culture Fund.

New Guidelines for the scheme were released last week. Apart from a change to the title and the names of some funding streams, the major differences between NPEA and the new Catalyst program are that:

  • $32 million over three years has been removed from the proposed NPEA budget and returned to the Australia Council;
  • Catalyst funding will be $12 million (rather than $20 million) per year for allocation to arts and cultural organisations;
  • the program more explicitly identifies museums, libraries and archives as eligible for application; and
  • an additional objective has been added to ‘give priority to projects involving small to medium organisations’.

As before, the program will:

  • not fund individuals directly but require applications from arts and cultural organisations;
  • cover all art and cultural forms with the exception of film and television productions and interactive games;
  • encourage collaboration with other funding sources;
  • be accessible to small, medium and large arts and cultural organisations at a regional, community and national level;
  • allow funding applications for instrastate, interstate and international tours and for infrastructure;
  • use independent, expert assessors (more than 300 assessors are registered to date with the Ministry for the Arts including artists, curators, philanthropists and audience members); and
  • be delivered via three funding streams:
    – Partnerships and Collaborations (encourages leveraging of funding from other sources)
    – International and Cultural Diplomacy (invites applications for inbound and outbound tours with particular reference to Government-identified ‘priority’ countries)
    – Innovation and Participation (encouraging access including through digital tools)

Catalyst will open for applications on Friday 27 November 2015.

Further information:

Minister’s media release 18 November 2015
Guidelines 18 November 2015

See also:

Dewi Cooke, Rebranding NPEA to Catalyst: the same program by another name? The Sydney Morning Herald, 20 November 2015

Monica Tan, George Brandis’s arts excellence fund slashed and renamed Catalyst, The Guardian, 20 November 2015

Stuart Glover et al, Out with the NPEA, in with Catalyst: expert response, The Conversation, 20 November 2015

Council of Australasian Museum Directors c/o Mr Brian Oldman, South Australian Museum PO Box 234 Adelaide, South Australia 5001 Australia, © CAMD 2022
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