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You are welcome to contact the VIPI Program Producer to see if you and VIPI could be the right fit! Contact or call 03 9947 1015.

I am not sure if my experiences count as ‘producing’.

You may have already been a producer without realising it! Here are some skills that producers may provide for artists/ artist collectives/ companies.

You don’t need to have done all of the following, they are just suggestions to jog your thinking about what ‘producing’ can include:

  • Have you done project or event management?
  • Have you written and prepared funding applications and acquittal reports?
  • Have you built and maintained relationships with diverse stakeholders (such as independent artists, presenting partners, production teams, funding bodies, government representatives)?
  • Have you done basic budgets and processing of payments?
  • Have you helped with the marketing and promotion of artistic events / programs?
  • Have you brokered creative relationships and partnerships? (meaning, you’re the person that connects people)
  • Have you designed and led evaluation processes?
  • Have you collaborated in a culturally sensitive and informed way, in diverse cultural contexts?
  • Have you advocated for independent artists / artist collectives / companies as part of steering committees or advisory groups?
  • Have you provided professional / career advice to independent artists / artist collectives / companies?
  • Have you built relationships with new audiences?
  • Have you coordinated touring logistics (scheduling, accommodation, travel, visa applications)?

How was the Victorian Independent Producers Initiative developed?

VIPI is an initiative of the Victorian Government, designed in consultation with a range of representatives from the independent performing arts sector – independent producers, artists, independent companies – and other key stakeholders including Theatre Network Australia (TNA).

TNA advocated for a program like VIPI after observing that many independent artists are being pushed to become their own producers and/or to form incorporated companies, neither of which they want to be doing. The independent producing model, offering very close relationships between independent artists and independent producers, is an efficient and effective model to support independent artists.

How long is the Victorian Independent Producers Initiative running for?

This inaugural program will run from 2019 to 2024 and will include an evaluation period to assess the impact that VIPI has made on the Victorian independent performing arts sector.

For the Producers Mentorship Program, there will be two rounds of applications in 2020 and one round of applications in the first half of 2021 (with mentoring running until mid 2023).

For the Unlocking Capacity grant, there will be two rounds of applications in 2020 and one round of applications in 2021 (offering support through to mid 2024).

The Salon Series will run throughout 2019-2022.

What counts as independent producing?

Independent producing involves providing producing support for independent artists, unfunded artist collectives and /or independent companies who do not receive multi-year government funding.

In general, independent producers do not receive ongoing government funding for their work and do not work inside funded companies. However, some of your work may include doing short-term producing contracts for small to medium, or major funded performing arts organisations, which is only part of a suite of artists / collectives / companies that you are supporting.

We recognise that independent producing is not necessarily a financially stable way of making a living, which may be a barrier for some people. If your producing experience has included a mix of both producing inside an organisation as well as independent producing, please contact the VIPI Program Producer to see if you and VIPI could be the right fit for one another.

These interviews with independent producers may also give you a bit more of an idea about the role of the independent producer –

How can I be added to the VIPI Independent Producers database?

Please go to the TNA Independent Producers Database. At the top of the page, there is a link you can click to go to the form you complete to be added to the database. This form is also available for download as a Word document.

What do you mean by independent artists / artist collectives / independent companies?

Generally, ‘independent’ refers to practicing or operating outside of an organisation.

An independent artist is an individual whose artistic practice is done outside of an organisation. They may be commissioned for one-off or short-term projects in collaboration with an organisation, but this is only one part of a suite of projects they are doing independently.

An independent arts collective is a group of people whose artistic practice is generally done outside of an organisation. Again, they may engage in one-off or short-term projects in collaboration with an organisation, but this is only one part of a suite of projects that they are doing independently.

An independent company may be a legally constituted organisation that does not receive multi-year organisational funding, an un-constituted group or just a company name. However, you could receive multiyear project funding from local council or other funding bodies.

What counts as performing arts?

We are deliberately defining ‘performing arts’ very openly to include artforms that have some ‘live performance element’.  ‘Performing arts’ may include: theatre, dance, circus and physical theatre, magic, theatre for/by/with young people, hybrid and interdisciplinary live art, spoken word and live comedy.

If you are not sure if you have worked as a producer in the ‘performing arts’, please contact the VIPI Program Producer.

Does spoken word count as performing arts?

Yes. However, please bear in mind that this program is intended to support people who act as the producer of spoken word events. If your practice is mainly as a writer/poet, without having produced spoken word events, this may not be the right opportunity for you. If you are not sure if you are eligible, please contact the VIPI Program Producer.

Does music count as performing arts?

Unfortunately, even though music obviously has a ‘live performance element’, events/projects that only have a live music component are outside of the scope of VIPI.

Can I apply for VIPI’s funded opportunities and still go for project funding from Creative Victoria?

If you intend to apply for project funding from Creative Victoria, please speak to the relevant program officer prior to submitting your application.

Our general advice to applicants is to consider other income sources, i.e. not purely reliant on Creative Vic for their projects. The Unlocking Capacity grant should not rely on the success of other Creative Vic funding applications in order to deliver the workplan etc.

What if you have been a producer for an organisation and your role has involved working with independent artists?

This still counts as producing inside an organisational context, which requires different skill sets to independent producing. However, we recognise that independent producing is not necessarily a financially stable way of making a living, which may lead the majority of aspiring producers to work inside organisational contexts, at some stages.

If you have only worked inside an organisation as a producer, but would like to grow your independent producing practice, you may be better suited for the Producers Mentorship Program and Salon Series, rather than the Unlocking Capacity grant, at this stage.

Is there additional support for regionally based producers?

Yes. TNA recognises that there are additional barriers to participation across many demographics, including for people living in regional areas. Therefore, TNA will work with VIPI participants who are regionally based to support their ability to travel to Melbourne and other locations, as needed.

Can I upload audio and video applications?

Yes. For the Producers Mentorship Program, please follow the instructions on the EOI page, here.

For the Unlocking Capacity application, video and audio applications are available to applicants with access needs. Please contact Creative Victoria to discuss.

For any video/ audio content enquiries, contact the VIPI Program Producer.

I am an independent artist and I have looked for a producer to support my work for years and not found one.

We launched the TNA Independent Producers Database in February 2020!

Please have a look here.

Also, this problem is part of what VIPI is trying to address. We want to increase the number of independent producers who are able to work with independent artists. We also want to increase the capacity of existing independent producers.

Finally, please look out for information about VIPI Salon Series in the future. The salon series will involve opportunities for independent artists to meet independent producers, receive free coaching sessions to get advice about their projects/ careers as well as other professional development opportunities. Please contact the VIPI Program Producer to register your interest.

Why isn’t VIPI prioritizing independent artists who are the producers of their own works?

VIPI came out of an urgent need to support independent producers, whose practice IS independent producing, as distinct to artists who do producing out of necessity, in order to support their artistic practice.

VIPI aims to support independent producers to further sustain their practice and also to grow the next generation of diverse independent producers.

VIPI is not intending to be a way for artists to subsidise their own producing work. However, VIPI will benefit independent artists as we will see more independent producers working in Victoria, and it will increase the capacity of independent producers to support more independent artists.

We want to take some of the workload off artists, so that artists can focus on their artistic practice. We recognise that without independent artists, there would be no independent producers.

What if you are the producer and artist for a project?

We acknowledge that for independent performing arts, people often fulfil multiple roles, for example: as a producer and a performer for the same project. VIPI is intended to support the professional pathway of people who are committed to making independent producing one of or their sole source of income. Self-producing artists are welcomed to apply for the one-on-one coaching sessions with an independent producer as part of the VIPI Salon Series.

What is the Salon Series?

The Salon Series will offer professional development sessions for the independent performing arts sector more broadly, including artists.

The sessions will be facilitated by Theatre Network Australia and guest speakers, coaches and facilitators. The Salon Series will focus on responding to the most urgent skills and conversations that we need to be having in the independent producing sector as well as the independent performing arts sector more broadly.

The Salon Series will bring together groups of people involved in the Producers Mentorship Program and the Unlocking Capacity program, as well as other independent producers, aspiring producers, artists and companies. These events and activities will provide peer learning, support and networking.

The program also includes coaching sessions: free one-on-one support for artists with an experienced producer to discuss career planning, business planning, work-life balance support or networking advice.

Salon Series events will run regularly until 2022.

Can I give you my ideas for the salon series?

Absolutely! We are very open to what the performing arts sector would like to do in terms of professional development, the connections we need to be making, the conversations we need to be having. Please send your ideas to us!

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