Exhibition Development Fund

  • Applications for 2017 have closed.


Our Exhibition Development Fund (EDF) program supports the Victorian arts sector with grants of up to $10,000 to Victorian arts organisations who wish to develop new exhibitions of contemporary art, craft or design with the potential to tour.

NETS Victoria’s EDF grants are made available from funds specifically devolved through Creative Victoria. Grants can support development costs such as research, curatorial or artists’ fees, publications or exhibition design, furniture and technology. Recipients are encouraged to work in close dialogue with NETS Victoria throughout the development stages of their project.

Applicants are encouraged to contact the NETS Victoria office on or +61 3 8620 2002 to speak about their proposal prior to submitting.

The EDF is devolved annually. The NETS Victoria Board of Management reviews all applications and the successful proposals will be announced and funds distributed within three months.

Frequently asked questions

I’m an artist/independent curator. Am I eligible to apply?

You must apply through a host gallery who can assist you in developing and presenting the project. Priority will be given to projects developed with the support of a public gallery to ensure the exhibition is professionally managed by suitably experienced staff.

What types of exhibitions are funded through the EDF program?

The EDF program supports the development of touring exhibitions of contemporary art, craft and design. Exhibitions can include historical material, but at minimum, half the exhibition should be contemporary works. Those applications which have strong curatorial premise, are innovative and include high quality works of art are the most successful. Exhibitions that are designed to build audiences are also encouraged.

Is my exhibition appropriate for tour?

Carefully consider whether the exhibition has an audience beyond your gallery and local community. Will the works, ideas and themes resonate with a broader audience? Will the ideas and curatorial theme have currency in the longer term (tours can last for as long as 18 months). Are the works in sound condition and with appropriate packing and handling to ensure they will be returned to lenders in the same condition?

How can I ensure a broad range of audiences will engage with my exhibition?

The development of support materials, publications and learning programs can help host galleries engage diverse audiences. Promotional materials such as media releases, images for reproduction, web copy and invitations for overprinting are also a useful in promoting the exhibition.

When curating the exhibition, what should I think about?

Is the exhibition of a scale that can be accommodated and displayed in the temporary exhibitions spaces of host galleries? Will the works of art fit within the internal dimensions of the art carrier’s truck? Consideration must be given to how it can be installed by host galleries, any display technologies or exhibition design requirements and whether the artist/s must oversee the installation of their own works. This will have an impact on your budget.

Where should I propose to tour my exhibition?

The exhibition should tour to areas in which the exhibition has relevance. First of all, consider whether the artist/s have works in any gallery collections, or whether they have a relationship to particular communities. As the EDF program is funded by Creative Victoria, preference is given to projects that tour to Victorian public galleries with museum-standard facilities, professionally trained staff and a significant audience base.

How many venues should I tour to?

Two venues don’t really constitute a tour, however be mindful that more than eight to ten venues may jeopardise the condition of the works. Some touring grants such as Creative Victoria’s Touring Victoria program and the Federal Government’s Visions of Australia Program specify a minimum number of venues.

What should I include in my budget?

Look at the application for suggestions. At absolute minimum, you will need to cover the cost of packing or crating, insurance and freight. We recommend that you spend time researching potential costs to ensure the exhibition and subsequent tour are viable and can be covered through your organisation’s budget or through touring grants.

What sorts of applications are successful?

Applications are often received from many of Victoria’s leading contemporary and regional galleries. Successful recipients are primarily projects that are of high quality and will engage audiences and simultaneously will be professionally developed and managed. The project also must be financially viable with all aspects of the development and tour carefully costed within in the budget.

If I get an Exhibition Development Fund grant, how to I develop the tour?

Whilst Exhibition Development Fund grant recipients may choose to tour the exhibition in-house, NETS Victoria welcomes the opportunity to discuss entering into a partnership whereby our organisation would collaborate in the development of the exhibition and subsequently manage the tour. Both organisations would jointly apply for funding for the tour.

Where can I get funding to tour my exhibition?

The Exhibition Development Fund (EDF) grant can only be used to offset the costs of developing a touring exhibition. Creative Victoria’s Touring Victoria program and the Visions of Australia program provide funding to cover the cost of getting your project on the road.

Assessment of your Application

Applications for this program will be competitively assessed and prioritised according to each of the following criteria:

  • Artistic merit – a strong selection of works by professional, emerging and/or established contemporary artists, crafts people and designers presented in the context of an exhibition with a curatorial rationale that is innovative, well resolved and that contributes to research and interpretation of contemporary art, craft and design.
  • Presentation and interpretation – the quality of the proposed research and presentation of associated publications, the ability of the public and education programs to engage new and existing audiences, and the standard of presentation for all aspects of the exhibition.
  • Project viability – the capacity of the applicant to professionally deliver the proposed activity and achieve the described outcomes to the highest possible standard.
  • Creating access – the potential of the exhibition to provide access to the highest quality works of contemporary art rarely exhibited in regional areas; or engage with contemporary ideas and issues that resonate with regional audiences; or present contemporary works by regional artists; and contributes to the quality and diversity of arts programming in Victoria and beyond.


  • Are you a legally constituted Victorian not-for-profit organisation?
  • Is the proposal for a new exhibition in development stage?
  • Does your exhibition include contemporary art, craft and design? The exhibition can include historical works of art and objects, where they inform contemporary practice.
  • Are the works included in the exhibition by professional artists?
  • Is the applicant committed to developing the project into a touring exhibition?
  • Are you looking for funds for developing the exhibition, not touring the exhibition?
  • Is touring this exhibition and subsequent tour financially viable?

If you have answered yes, you are eligible to apply for an EDF grant.