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Tips for Gambling Fund applications

The Community Benefit Gambling Fund offers funding of up to $35,000 through four rounds per year. Metro Arts have been successful on several occasions and here the management team share their tips...

At Metro Arts we are always looking for new ways to fund our work with fabulous independent contemporary artists through sponsorship, philanthropy, donations and the on-going cycle of grant applications.  However, Metro Arts is unique within the Australian arts landscape as we also have the privilege of owning a venue.   The Old Broad as the 117 year-old heritage listed 6 story building on Edward Street is affectionately known has been the home to artists, artisans and craftspeople for almost 40 years.  Brisbane Community Arts Centre Ltd t/a Metro Arts continues to maintain, restore and adapt The Old Broad but it is a costly venture being a home-owner!  And this is where the Community Benefit Gambling Fund has assisted us over the years.

Crowd image at the 2016 Metro Launch

Applications through the Gambling Fund have always been appealing to us as they are a fund to benefit the community and this is the approach we always have in mind.  Our building is accessed daily by the public and artists alike.  We have hire spaces, a café and a restaurant so on any one day we can have over 600 people walking through our facility.

We have a rolling maintenance and facility report that is revised fortnightly, each item is ranked in priority and often we have up to five quotes ready for acceptance. Having a full understanding of the job that needs to be done is integral to writing a successful application.  We meet with professionals from various fields; construction, engineers, craftsman and even stone masons. When a new round of the Gambling Fund is opened we go through our maintenance and facility plan and choose our top priority for the grant. We would love to focus on new and innovative safety and community engagement; however, as a home-owner, our ‘to do’ list is always pretty hefty and maintenance is a top priority for our Old Broad.

To write a successful Gambling Fund application we recommend the following:

  • have a full understanding of how the money will benefit the community.  For us this means engaging with our neighbours and tenants about the issues to gain a clear public perspective
  • have an understanding and appreciation of the scope of work and
  • be realistic about your expense figure. Do not be disheartened if your project is a $100,000 job!  Stress the importance of the first quarter of the total project costs and how the Gambling Fund will get a much needed job off the ground.

From sitting on peer assessment panels and writing countless grants over the years, we offer a few general tips:

  • start your application early
  • read the selection criteria carefully and seriously question if your project is applicable
  • consider the funding intent of the organisation – why do they give money? What is their focus?
  • consider big picture impact – the change to lives and society
  • ask a non-arts friend to read the application to check for clarity of vision and expression and ensure the language is reader-friendly
  • check and double-check budgets for errors and ensure income and expenditure balance
  • do your home-work particularly around what has previously been funded and quotes for the project
  • do not bluff – there will always be someone on the panel who knows someone involved in your project; or knows someone who knows someone and will know if you’re stretching the truth
  • be grateful, create brave projects and make good work! 

For more tips on building a clear and compelling case for funding, head over to Arts Queensland's Arts Acumen Funding Application Writing page.

Jess MurphyJESS MURPHY | BUSINESS DIRECTOR Jess first joined Metro Arts in the Espresso Bar, growing the humble enterprise into an integral part of Edward Street. It is to her credit that corporates in the CBD shuffle through the building for their daily coffee run, and have become arts enthusiasts attending performances together with Jess. With experience in retail, hospitality and arts administration, Jess combines her eye for business and her love of culture and the arts as she oversees the running of the organisation.







Jo ThomasJO THOMAS | CREATIVE DIRECTOR Jo has a long history with Metro Arts as a performance-maker and producer and now as Creative Director continues to champion the creation and presentation of new contemporary work. She has a personal interest in new circus, dance and site-inspired works. Jo oversees all programming (performance and exhibition) and the development and financial management of creative programs and initiatives. She also produces and curates select productions and microfestivals. In the last 5 years Jo has worked at Metro Arts as Executive Producer and Managing Producer (MAPS) where she was responsible for national and international touring and partnerships, managing and producing new Australian work and implementing a range of strategic initiatives. Her previous experience has been in programming, producing and performance. As a Producer she has worked on projects for Cloud Gate Dance Theatre of Taiwan, Brisbane’s contemporary circus company CIRCA, the inaugural Brisbane Festival Theatre Fringe, Brisbane Festival, Qld Music Festival, Bleach* Festival, Actors Centre Australia, Empire Theatres Toowoomba and as an independent. As a performer Jo has worked in film, television and theatre and toured locally and nationally with her works. Jo was a 2012 recipient of the prestigious Churchill Fellowship; and one of only 5 Australian producers selected for the Asian Producer Platform – a 4-year initiative connecting producers from across Asia. Jo is a graduate of both Queensland University of Technology and University of Southern Queensland and is currently enrolled in the inaugural Masters Fine Arts (Cultural Leadership) at NIDA.


All images courtesy Metro Arts. 

Imageof Jo Thomas. Darren Thomas: Photo Co