Grant program encouraging young people to stay in the Territory


Steph Spillett was on the verge of leaving Darwin for Melbourne when an application for a NXT Gen ARTS grant changed everything.

Spillett is now a staff member and dance choreographer at Tracks Dance Company based in Darwin. The grant allowed Spillet to gain 12 weeks’ experience and to fully immerse in the company to work on creative practices that led to a permanent role.

Spillett said the opportunity had been life changing, and the chance to work on a new production Chasing the Moon gave great insight into what the role would entail before taking it on.

“With the opportunity of the NXT Gen grant I was able to get experience from concept to audition to selecting the artist, to organising a rehearsing schedule and then all the way up to bump in and bump out… that experience was completely new for me,” Spillett said.

“If you’re someone who wants to start off your career or if you’re on the fence of whether you want to do it full time or as a side hustle, applying for the grant would be good because it sets you up for the 12 weeks and gives you an understanding on how to work as a freelance artist in the industry.

“It was a really great experience.”

NXT Gen ARTS grants provide $13,000 in funding for artists aged 18-25 years to get a start in the industry by doing a three month placement in an arts organisation.

Director of Arts NT Georgia Thomas said the program was perfect for young people interested in pursuing a career in arts.

“This program provides a practical introduction into running an arts business by learning from established artists and sector professionals,” she said.

“The NT has a strong and proud tradition in the arts and this grant is about fostering our next generation to become our next arts and cultural leaders.”

Grants are open to people aged 18-25, to apply go to the Northern Territory Government website.

The following arts grants are now also open:

  • Quick Response grants
  • Creative Communities grant
  • Professional Development grants

Arts NT staff will offer information sessions in Alice Springs, Tennant Creek, Katherine, Nhulunbuy, Yirrkala, Palmerston and Darwin for anyone interested applying for an arts grant. Sign up to Arts NT’s Bite Size Arts News to find out when information sessions are scheduled.

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