Background Image

Elevate First Nations Arts

Elevate First Nations is a key priority of Creative Together - a 10 year roadmap for arts, culture and creativity in Queensland, the Queensland Government’s vision to renew and transform Queensland through creativity.

This will ensure the voices of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples are amplified in the future of arts, culture and creativity in Queensland, with a focus on meaningful representation and engagement.

Arts Queensland has established a First Nations Arts and Cultures Panel to consult on the future of Queensland Government arts and cultural strategy, policy and investment.

The First Nations Arts and Cultures Panel is working with Arts Queensland to develop the First Nations Arts and Cultural Engagement Framework. 

Support for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Arts

The following funding programs and initiatives provide support opportunities specifically for First Nations organisations, programs, projects and practitioners.

Backing Indigenous Arts initiative

Queensland Government’s Backing Indigenous Arts (BIA) initiative, established in 2007, is investing  $12.6 million investment over four years (2019/20 – 2022/23) to sustain and grow ethical Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander arts industries.  The initiative supports:

Visual Arts

Indigenous Arts Centre network 

Indigenous Arts Centre network map

Arts Queensland supports a network of Queensland Indigenous Arts Centres and representative body the Indigenous Art Centre Alliance (IACA).




Backing Indigenous Arts (BIA) – Indigenous Art Centres (IAC) Multi-Year Funding (2023-2026)

Established in 2007, the Queensland Government’s Backing Indigenous Arts (BIA) initiative supports the development of ethical and sustainable businesses for Queensland-based Indigenous Art Centres (IACs) and First Nations visual arts and craft organisations and artists.

Elevate First Nations arts is a key priority of Creative Together 2020–2030: A 10-year Roadmap for arts, culture and creativity in Queensland.

Through Grow 2022–2026 (PDF,1,944KB) the second action plan to deliver the roadmap, BIA-funded IACs can access the BIA IAC Strategic Development Project Fund (the Fund) in 2023-24.

Funding objectives

The objectives of the Fund are to support:

  • IAC business development and growth that aligns with the centre’s strategic plan.
  • Increased employment and professional development opportunities for First Nations arts managers, workers, and artists.
  • Strengthened First Nations leadership of the First Nations visual arts and crafts sector.
  • Increased capacity of artists and organisations to meet cultural obligations and market demand.

For more information about the fund please refer to:

or contact Arts Queensland on toll free 1800 175 531.

Who can apply?

The BIA IAC Multi-Year Funding Program is a targeted strategy accessible to the Indigenous Arts Centres who were successfully admitted to the BIA IAC Multi-Year 2019-2023 Program, along with those IACs identified and invited by Arts Queensland that are visual arts organisations or peak bodies.

Closing date: 20 October 2023

Performing Arts

First Night Showcase Bulmba-ja - funding outcomes

Supporting independent artists and organisations based in Queensland to develop and present new works at Bulmba-ja arts centre (Cairns).

First Nations Commissioning Fund

The First Nations Commissioning Fund is for Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander arts and cultural practitioners, organisations, collectives or communities to commission and deliver uniquely Queensland Indigenous stories, arts and cultural experiences, products and celebrations.

Now Closed - Closed on 26 November 2021
Funding recipients - View the Round 2 recipients here


Regional Arts Services Network

Queensland regions are extremely diverse, and those regional differences, shaped by First Nations history, culture, and distinctive and varied natural geography, have led to unique experiences and cultural products across the state, which all contribute to Queensland’s rich culture. The Regional Arts Services Network (RASN) is about empowering regions to realise arts and cultural priorities and drive change through arts-led initiatives. Our RASN providers lead and support projects that enhance cultural vitality, create thriving communities and advance regional development and social priorities.

Indigenous Regional Arts Development Fund (IRADF)

Partnering with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities to ensure Indigenous communities in regional and remote areas of Queensland have access to arts and cultural services.  

View IRADF case studies or download previous IRADF recipients list (XLSX) (32.63 KB) in Excel format.

Current funding round closes 4pm, Friday 3 November 2023. 

Aboriginal Centre for the Performing Arts (ACPA)

ACPA is a registered training organisation dedicated to the development of Indigenous performing artists developing the skills, expertise and practical experience necessary to succeed in the Australian performing arts industry.

Festivals supported through Backing Indigenous Arts

Winds of Zenadth Cultural Festival

Biennial four-day festival to celebrate and preserve Torres Strait Islander language, art, song and dance.

Laura Aboriginal Dance Festival

Biennial gathering in Cape York Peninsula, highlighting the many diverse Communities, language, song, dance and stories and showcasing the strength, pride and uniqueness of Aboriginal people

Cairns Indigenous Art Fair (CIAF)

Australia’s premier Indigenous Art Fair, the Cairns Indigenous Art Fair (CIAF) is dedicated to supporting the careers of Queensland Indigenous artists by providing a platform for market exposure and income generation.