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Unlocking Capacity FAQS

You are welcome to contact us to see if you and VIPI could be the right fit! Before applying, please read the guidelines and tools for the application process.

Then, contact our VIPI Program Producer, Wen-Juenn Lee to discuss your application, or run by any questions you might have. Book your one-on-one information session with Wen-Juenn. You can also email her at or call 03 9947 1015.

What are the dates for Round 3 of the Unlocking Capacity grant?

Round 3 opens: Thursday 4 November 2021
Round 3 closes: Thursday 25 November 2021 at 3pm. 

For activities commencing from 1 March 2022.

It takes approximately 10 weeks from the closing dates until funding results are available.

I’ve done bits of independent producing over the years, in between other commitments. Would I qualify for the Unlocking Capacity grant or the Producers Mentorship Program?

We do not penalise people for having life happen in between independent producing commitments. Describe as best as you can the amount of independent producing experience that you have done, both through your CV as well as through your application.

For the Producers Mentorship Program, the three years of experience is NOT a pre-requisite.

What is meant by “Unlocking Capacity”? What kinds of activities or career/business objectives will be supported?

This will differ from producer to producer. Some examples of activities that may be supported include, paying yourself a wage so that you can:

  • Remodel your independent producing practices
  • Maintain and deepen your professional support of Victorian-based independent artists/ collectives/ companies you work with
  • Maintain and build relationships with local, national and international partners

Your application will be assessed against the revised Assessment Criteria in the Unlocking Capacity grant guidelines.

Could the Unlocking Capacity grant be used solely as a wage?

The majority of the Unlocking Capacity grant can be dedicated to your wage. We also recommend allocating some of the grant towards professional development activities, as an investment in building your capacity.

The strongest applications will demonstrate how receiving this wage will “unlock” your capacity over a two to three-year period and the expected outcomes for your practice and the independent performing arts sector.

You will need to demonstrate how receiving this grant will address the revised Unlocking Capacity assessment criteria, available in the guidelines document.

What counts as 50% of your professional time?

In order to apply to Unlocking Capacity, at least 50% of your professional time needs to have been dedicated to your independent producing practice.

Due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, your independent producing practice may have shifted to include more time for research, networking, professional development and meetings to maintain relationships with artists. All  these activities can still count towards your independent producing practice hours. Alternatively, it may be more relevant to report on your practice prior to the pandemic.

Moreover, one way to calculate 50% of your professional time is to halve a full-time working week of 38 hours, arriving at a minimum of 19 working hours per week. You need to be dedicating at least 19 hours per week on your independent producing practice to apply for the Unlocking Capacity grant.

We are aware that some applicants (including parents) may need to have flexible working arrangements. As long as the panellists are able to see evidence of your commitment to your independent producing practice, both prior to the pandemic and currently, you are able to apply for the Unlocking Capacity grant.

Finally, another way you would be able to apply for the Unlocking Capacity grant, is following completion of the VIPI Producers Mentorship Program.

What is meant by this assessment criteria: “How the funding will support your sustainability holistically as a practitioner”?

In addition to thinking about your financial sustainability as an independent producer, we encourage you to also consider your mental health, strategies of self-care, community-care and peer-to-peer support, in thinking holistically about your sustainability.

Can I have my Unlocking Capacity grant auspiced?

Yes. Please see information for all applicants and auspiced organisations, here. This link is also in the General Eligibility page in the Unlocking Capacity guidelines.

What do you need to put into your workplan for the Unlocking Capacity Grant?

Please see the sample workplan provided by Creative Victoria.

Please submit as much information as you are able to for the first year of activities to be funded by the grant. If you have tentative activities in your 2nd and 3rd year, include these as well.

You will be required to submit an updated timeline at the end of year 1 and year 2. You will need to submit this updated timeline in order for the next invoice to be processed.

Can you be a self-producing company and apply for VIPI’s Producer Mentorship Program and the Unlocking Capacity grant?

The strongest applicants will demonstrate how the producing work that they do supports a suite of independent artists, independent collectives and unfunded companies. Meaning, you will need to demonstrate how the benefits of your work as a producer goes beyond your own unfunded company. Otherwise, you would not be the priority to receive support from the Producers Mentorship Program nor the Unlocking Capacity grant.

I still have questions. Who can I talk to about the Unlocking Capacity grant?

For all VIPI program related enquiries, please contact Wen-Juenn Lee the VIPI Program Producer, at,au

For any technical questions related to accessing the Creative Victoria Grants Portal to submit your application, please contact Chloe Turner, Senior Arts Officer, Creative Victoria on 03 9623 1169 or 1800 134 894 (toll free country Victoria only) or by email at

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