Local Arts Program Priority Grants – Multicultural Education

Local arts program Public schools Dance Drama Music Visual arts

NSW public schools are invited to apply for a Local Arts Program Priority Grants for 2023 to support the development and implementation of targeted arts-based projects based on the department's multicultural education priorities

From 2023, targeted local arts grants will be available to fund projects over 3 years that address specified department priorities through the arts.

Up to 5 grants of $35,000 will be available for multicultural arts education projects for networks of schools or groups of networks. Grant funding will be distributed as follows:             

  • $15,000 in the first year
  • $10,000 in the second year
  • $10,000 in the third year.

Projects will be encouraged to work towards self-sufficiency after 3 years. However, with evidence of impact and a demonstrated need across the state, projects may be considered for centralised funding and expansion into other school networks.

How to apply

Applications are now open!

Complete the Local Arts Program Priority Grants – Multicultural Education application form to apply.

  • Applications close at 5:00 pm on Friday 3 March 2023 (Term 1 Week 6)
  • Successful applicants will be notified Friday 24 March 2023 (Term 1 Week 9)
  • Grant funds will be provided to the managing school by Term 2 Week 1

Application conditions

Consistent evaluation of programs ensures that local arts programs receiving priority grants are sustainable and impactful. Each year program coordinators will be responsible for providing the following:

  • budget and acquittal of grant expenditure
  • evidence of impact, including participant survey data, focus groups and/or interviews demonstrating how the program is meeting priority and arts education outcomes.

Ongoing funding after 3 years may be considered for programs identified as successful in meeting identified student outcomes.

Arts activities that support the Multicultural Plan 2019-2022

The Multicultural Plan 2019-2022 consists of several key department policies and strategies for NSW government schools.

In consultation with the Multicultural Education team, The Arts Unit is seeking to fund and facilitate arts programs and opportunities that: (see Turning Policy into Action)

  • Support the wellbeing of students from all cultural, linguistic and religious backgrounds and promote mutual respect and a sense of belonging amongst all students. 
  • Promote excellence and innovation in multicultural education, and effective teaching in culturally diverse contexts. 
  • Build students’ understanding of cultural diversity in the contemporary context and promote intercultural understanding through and across the curriculum. 

Arts education outcomes

Every program must address one or more of the student outcomes in addition to any other outcomes selected.

Focus Outcome
Students       1.    Improvement in specific skills
  2.    Increased sense of cultural identity, engagement and wellbeing 
  3.    Extension for high potential and gifted students and development of career pathways
Teachers 4.    Improved skills and confidence
  5.    Professional networks and access ongoing support
Schools 6.    High quality arts education for improved learning and increased profile
Systems 7.    Equitable access to arts experiences for all students

Examples of programs that support the Multicultural Plan

  • Dance ensemble -  Multicultural students from NSW public schools are invited to audition for a dance ensemble. Students will work with industry leaders in monthly rehearsals culminating in performance opportunities. The program aims to create a space for cultural exchange and exploration of student stories through movement, leading to an increased sense of belonging and community after working collaboratively in the arts over an extended period.
  • Vocal ensemble - Multicultural students from NSW public schools are invited to audition for a vocal ensemble. Students will work with industry professionals in monthly rehearsals before culminating in a professional recording and performance, as well as having the opportunity to audition for future showcases. The program aims to enhance the vocal talents of young multicultural people through the study of vocal technique, the building of confidence to perform publicly, and skill development to plan for future goals in vocal performance.
  • Drama ensemble - This program is for multicultural students in NSW secondary public schools. Students will listen to and respond to stories from community members and families. From this experience, they will work with experts to develop their skills in storytelling techniques, creating a play-built piece that will be performed at a local event and included in local and state drama festivals. The aim of this program is to provide a platform for students to privilege and promote multicultural knowledge and culture to a wide audience.
  • Visual arts professional learning - Visual arts teachers are invited to participate in a visual arts professional learning opportunity hosted in collaboration with a regional art gallery. Through a series of workshops, staff will have the opportunity to work closely with multicultural artists to develop relevant and authentic learning programs for students in preschool to Year 12. Later in the year, participating schools will exhibit artworks created as a result of the program. The aim of this program is to influence the authentic inclusion of culture in visual arts teaching and learning programs for all students, as well as connect teachers to local multicultural artists in their community. Engaging with local artists to provide authentic visual arts learning experiences to students can create deep engagement through culturally relevant programs.
  • Photography project - Secondary students are invited to engage with and work with professional photographers to document local multicultural and produce a collective body of work. They may print a collection of images for sale to raise money for local cultural initiatives. The aim of this program is to immerse students in culture and to engage them in an accessible art form with a commercial application, contributing to the development of post-school pathways.
  • Culture through the arts - This program will provide students from preschool to Year 6 with the opportunity to explore various cultures through the arts. Students will engage in a variety of dance, drama, music and visual art activities contextualised to their local area. Students will explore forms of storytelling, expression through voice, movement and dance and art-making practices. The one/two-day workshop will be led by local multicultural artists within the community and/or industry professionals. The program aims to develop a sense of belonging and identity. Students are encouraged to develop their leadership skills by sharing what they have learnt with their peers back at school. Opportunities exist for a showcase of student work at the end of the workshop day. 

COVID-19 notice

The operation of this program is contingent on advice provided by the NSW Department of Education in consultation with NSW Health. All activities will adhere to the DoE COVID-19 guidelines and restrictions.

Visit the COVID-19 and public schools in NSW web page for more information.


Jenny Beachum
Arts Strategy and Programs Coordinator
The Arts Unit