The Australia Council’s Arts and Disability Mentoring Initiative (2019-2021) supports individuals with disability undertaking an artistic collaboration involving mentoring. The purpose is to support collaborations that fuel ambition, embolden ideas and innovation, build networks and capacity, and strengthen future works. From 2019-2021 there are six grants of A$30,000 available per year to individual artists or arts workers with disability.
Support for artists with disability is a priority for the Australia Council, as its research report Making Art Work: An Economic Study of Professional Artists in Australia highlights the need for greater investment. Artists with disability continue to be under-represented among practicing professional artists and earn on average 42 percent less than their counterparts without disability.
This measure was developed in response to Australia Council research involving artists and arts workers with disability. The findings highlighted the importance of role models and mentors, and of disability-led practice. The research has informed the Australia Council’s three-year strategic investment in artists with disability, creating access to resources and supporting sustainable careers for artists with disability.