Helen Macpherson Smith Trust

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Case Study: Regional Arts Victoria

ProjectThe Arts and Education Access Program

Amount$90,000 over three years


ProgramPast Programs | Arts and Culture

This grant was approved under previous grants policy
Rural and regional Victoria Taking educational arts experiences to disadvantaged young people across regional Victoria
Building organisational capacity Developing a new financial model for developing a managed 10-year corpus, which will reduce reliance on short-term project grants over that time
Extending opportunity Extending opportunities to participate in and benefit from arts experiences to remote and regional Victorian students, teachers, families and artists
Collaboration and partnership Australian Children’s Theatre Foundation, State and Federal Governments, other philanthropic foundations, artists, arts organisations and schools

Matching philanthropy and innovation with regional arts and education

An innovative funding model that becomes financially sustainable across ten years aims to transition Regional Arts Victoria's Arts and Education Access Program from a reliance on short-term, one-off philanthropic project funding to a steady, long-term and sustainable model of income from invested funds.

Image Strange Garden at Fun4Kids Festival, Warrnambool 2016. Photo: Eliza-Jane Gilchrist

Regional Arts Victoria aims to create a sustainable funding stream for its Arts and Education Access Program which matches remote, disadvantaged and disaster-impacted students in rural and regional Victoria with quality, educationally-relevant arts programming created by independent artists and small arts organisations.


  • Regional Arts Victoria committed seed funding of $200,000 from its own reserves and sought funding from philanthropy and government to match contributions.
  • With a commitment of $90,000 from HMSTrust for the first three years of the Arts and Education Access Program and smaller grants from other philanthropic funds, Regional Arts Victoria was able to leverage $500,000 from the Federal Ministry for the Arts’ Catalyst Fund.
  • Bell Potter Securities provided advice for the 10-year projection of financial sustainability, after which Regional Arts Victoria will only need to seek a modest $25-30K p.a. to secure the program.
  • The program provides support for rural and regional schools and also for small to medium organisations and independent artists who cannot run their own schools touring programs and have been substantially impacted by recent arts program funding cuts.
  • The program aims to reach 5,000 rural and regional students each year.


“The impact of this program is transformative for Regional Arts Victoria’s Arts and Education program.” Esther Anatolitis, Director, Regional Arts Victoria