Backing Indigenous Arts - Performing Arts

The Queensland Government’s Backing Indigenous Arts (BIA) initiative aims to build sustainable and ethical Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander arts industries.

Building on BIA’s visual arts focus, the Government’s commitment of an additional $2.1 million in the 2017-18 budget for BIA – Performing Arts (BIAPA) supports the development of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander performing artists and companies.

This includes the creation and presentation of new performance work in Indigenous communities in Far North Queensland, and at the Centre of Contemporary Arts Cairns (CoCA).

CoCA Cairns Call Out program

The Queensland Government is currently considering proposals for new contemporary Indigenous performing arts initiatives to be developed and presented at the CoCA in 2019-20.

Read the guidelines, frequently asked questions and other important information.

Funding streams

BIAPA also includes three funding streams, which are currently closed for applications:

New Commissions

Funds of up to $150,000 per applicant (matched by the applicant) – to support the commissioning of new Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander performance work that engages new audiences and showcases the unique stories of Queensland’s First Nation peoples.

Producer Placements

Funding of up to $35,000 per applicant (matched by the applicant) – to encourage sustainable ongoing employment and increase career opportunities for Indigenous arts workers and grow the number of Indigenous producers working in Queensland’s performing arts industry.

Next Stage

Funds of up to $150,000 over two years per applicant – to build business and artistic capacity within the Indigenous performing arts sector in Far North Queensland, new audiences for Indigenous performing arts product including regular programming of new performance work at the CoCA, and enhanced engagement within Far North Queensland Indigenous communities.


The BIAPA CoCA Cairns Call Out, along with the New Commissions, Producer Placements and Next Stage funding streams, are currently closed.

How to apply

  1. Read the guidelines, frequently asked questions, important information for applicants, and terms of funding.
  2. Apply online.

Application process

Step 1

It is recommended that all applicants contact the General Manager, CoCA Cairns, on telephone (07) 4088 1013 or email to seek information about venue costs and availability.

Step 2

BIAPA CoCA Cairns Call Out proposals must be submitted online by the closing date of 14 May 2019. The application will be checked by Arts Queensland (AQ) for eligibility. If your application is deemed ineligible, AQ will provide eligibility feedback.

Step 3

Your application and proposal will be considered by the CoCA Independent Expert Panel (IEP).

The IEP will:

  • review your application against the program objectives and moderate with consideration of available funding, balance across art forms, geographic spread, target groups and government priorities
  • make recommendations to AQ.

Step 4

The Minister for the Arts (or Minister’s delegate) will consider AQ’s recommendations and make a final decision on the funding and in-kind venue support offer.

Data dictionaries

Data dictionaries provide definitions of measures, calculation methods and counting rules for reporting.

Successful applicants should read the data dictionary for this fund before starting any activities to make sure you collect data in the required way.

More information

Online submission through SmartyGrants is Arts Queensland's preferred method for receiving application forms and outcome reports for our funding programs.

If circumstances prevent you from providing your application or outcome report in this format please contact the CoCA Centre Management, on (07) 4088 1010 or toll free 1800 175 53, or email

View case studies of previous funding recipients.