Artist Opportunities

Blue laser beams shoot randomly between the tops of buildings in the night-time skyline of Melbourne's CBD

Melbourne Civic Commission

Melbourne Fringe, in partnership with the amazing Naomi Milgrom Foundation, is offering a massive annual commission of $100,000 (yeah, that’s the right amount of zeros, we triple checked).  

This commission will be offered to a leading Victorian independent or project-funded artist, company or collective to create a major public artwork for the Melbourne Fringe Festival in 2023. One huge, ground-breaking idea will be commissioned, to create a signature artwork that invigorates the city streets and blows the minds of Melburnians.  

The Melbourne Civic Commission must respond to three provocations: participation, place, and design. Beyond that, the only limit is your imagination! The work could run for one day, one minute, or the whole length of the Festival. In any case, it needs to be bold and impactful. It’s really gotta say something. 

Want more info? (You really do). There’s a bunch more info on how it works, and the deets for an online Q&A session on Tuesday 29 March all right here. 

 

Melbourne Civic Commission is part of our Fringe Fund program.
Proudly presented in partnership with the Naomi Milgrom Foundation. 

Who is it for?

The commission is open to Victorian independent artists, small companies or collectives. It’s a huge undertaking, one of exciting ambition and scale, so is best suited to mid-career or established artists with experience in creating complex public work. We invite creative thinkers of all disciplines – installation, live art, performance, visual art, music, architecture, design, moving image, digital media… or something completely new, yet-to-be-dreamed-of.

Applications from First Nations artists, culturally and linguistically diverse artists, and artists who identify as Deaf or disabled are especially welcome.

The first commission will be premiered as a signature work for the 2023 Melbourne Fringe Festival. The following commissions, each of $100K, will be presented as signature works for the 2024 and 2025 Festivals.

How do we apply?

Reckon this is for you? We want this process to be as artist-friendly as possible, so the application process is a simple, two-stage affair.

The first step is filling out this form before the applications close on 18 April.

Apply Now

 

But before we go on: Melbourne Fringe believes in access and inclusion. If the following process is not accessible to you, then please email our Program Manager (Sector Leadership) Kin Francis (they/them) at kin@melbournefringe.com.au and suggest an alternative. Accessible alternatives could be applying via audio files, spoken video or Auslan video or something else. We are open to your ideas around process. 

Then what happens?

Our expert panel Caroline Bowditch, Monica Lim and Wesley Enoch AM will, together with Melbourne Fringe CEO and Creative Director Simon Abrahams and Naomi Milgrom Foundation CEO Sam Redston, interview our finalists and select the commissioned artist will sit down and read your submissions. They’ll consider how the work responds to the provocations, and how the proposal has addressed the selection criteria. Then, the shortlisted projects will be invited to Stage 2, where the panel will meet with artists to further discuss the proposal. There’s one thing to note here: you need to be available for Stage 2 interviews on a specific date, to be communicated as soon as possible. Your availability this day is essential.

After much deliberation, jugs of coffee and lively discussion, the Naomi Milgrom Foundation and the team at Melbourne Fringe will select a recipient following the recommendation of the panel. We’ll notify the applicant, then celebration and champagne (or something else fizzy) will ensue.

Key Dates
  • Monday 21 March – Open Call opens
  • Tuesday 29 March, 6pm – Q&A session on Zoom with Simon Abrahams, Creative Director and CEO, Melbourne Fringe
  • Monday 18 April, midnight – Open Call closes
  • Friday 6 May – Shortlisted projects invited to participate in the second stage of the application process.
  • Sunday 22 May, midnight – Shortlisted artists submit their second-round proposals.
  • Wednesday 1 June (TBC) – Artist Discussions held.
  • Monday 13 June – Artists notified of outcome.
  • 5–22 October, 2023 – Premiere of inaugural commission as part of the Melbourne Fringe Festival 2023.

Subsequent commissions to be presented in 2024 and 2025 during the Melbourne Fringe Festival. The call-out for the 2024 commission will be later this year or early 2023.

Want more info?

Download this info pack for further details on this, quite frankly, incredible opportunity. Click here for plain text version. 

Download Info Pack Plain Text Version

 

We are also running a Q&A session online on Tuesday 29 March for Melbourne Civic Commission hosted by our Creative Director & CEO Simon Abrahams that you can bring all your burning questions to us.

Register Here

 

And if you still have questions, email our Program Manager (Sector Leadership) Kin Francis at kin@melbournefringe.com.au and they’ll be in touch.

Now put those creative brains to work!