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Makeshift Publics

This is a preview of the Makeshift Publics form. When you’re ready to apply, click Fill Out Now to begin.

About Makeshift Publics

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About the program

Please ensure you have read the full information on the Arts House website.

2020 has seen our urban ecologies experience vast upheavals. Makeshift Publics is a new program empowering artists to repurpose the tools we'll use to forge our way through this historical moment and explore ideas of place in a changed city.

Makeshift Publics is a year-long program in which artists investigate this shift. It acknowledges artists as leaders through crisis, with the adaptive skills, resilience and experience to stay in unknown territory over an extended period - and still create. With a process driven by a cross-disciplinary team of arts leaders, this program is for committed arts practitioners who want to explore new contexts for contemporary art through doing (not Zoom meetings). It will be practical, collaborative and provide connection to a large group of eclectic thinkers and makers across Victoria.

For this program, Arts House understands that public space can be social, historic, temporal, digital, economic, architectural, biological, chemical, inaccessible and contested; it includes civic spaces as well as outdoor environments. Makeshift Publics will culminate in an Open Day, where the discoveries made by the group throughout the year are shared with the community across a range of sites.


Makeshift Publics will run for two years, with different cohorts of artists in 2021 and 2022. The Facilitation Group will remain consistent where possible.

The Facilitation Group co-design a creative process with planning that emphasises cohesion, connection and is focused on both digital and in-person delivery. They determine the key themes of the program and co-design the process. They are practicing artists and arts workers who bring a breadth of experiences and knowledges, with most based in Victoria. The program takes place on the lands of the Kulin Nations and the majority of our knowledge and discussions will be driven by a focus on Melbourne and Victoria. The program is only open to Victorian-based applicants.

The 2021 Facilitator Group include: Latai Taumoepeau, James Nguyen, Joel Spring, Madeleine Flynn, Fayen D’Evie, Sarah Scott, Hanna Cormick.

Please make sure you read the full details, FAQ's and Curatorial Framework before applying. Available on the Arts House website 

For questions, you can contact Arts House via phone, text or email: (03) 9322 3720 or 0447 570 178 (text only)

Who is it for?

Makeshift Publics is for mid-career and established artists, thinkers, makers and doers who want to consider the broad themes of place, the city, disruption and change. Much of what Arts House does, including Makeshift Publics, is designed for people who are at least mid-career. It is a place for those who have moved beyond "emerging" and supports those artists that are a bit more established in whatever it is they do, for example in art, community work, healthcare, or in an environmental occupation.

Participants need to be from Victoria, because if COVID-restrictions and availabilities allow us to gather the group together, we may do so at some point in the year. We encourage applications from those with an experimental practice and those whose interests sit adjacent to the arts - e.g. health, environment, activism, science, space, mathematics, engineering, architecture, sport, food…

Please read our Frequently Asked Questions for more information on the Arts House website.

Accessibility & How to Apply

Makeshift Publics general submissions are made through this SmartyGrants portal. The deadline for applications is midday (12pm) Friday 4th December 2020.

For program information in Auslan, plain text and audio formats please go to the Arts House website.  

We want you to apply in the format that is easiest for you. Responses can be submitted here in SmartyGrants as:

  • A written response
  • A video
  • An audio message
  • Auslan video (we can arrange interpretation/ captioning of your video if needed)

Within in this application you will see either space for a written response or an upload section for you to attach the format you would prefer. Please note that questions regarding contact details and data do not have the option for an upload. 

If you have any access queries or need to submit your application outside of the SmartyGrants system, please get in contact prior to the closing date (call, email or text): Tara Prowse, Arts House Producer,, 0447 570 178 (text only), (03) 9322 370

Applications need to made as an individual and you need to be based in Victoria. You will be asked the following:

  • Three short questions (each response 500 words or 3.5 minutes of signed or spoken text)
  • Up to 3 web links for support material
  • Your access needs - there will be space to describe this in your own words.
  • Data question on demographics of applicant.

Selection criteria

Applications will be assessed by the Arts House Advisory Group in response to the following criteria:

  • Stated areas of enquiry that demonstrate timely, compelling and expanded offers towards exploring a changed city
  • Applications that demonstrate articulate and nuanced understanding of community, place and context, in relation to the applicant’s own practice or background.
  • Demonstrated understanding of and commitment to self-directed enquiry and peer-to-peer learning environments.
  • Artists that are mid-career or established in their practice. This may take into account practice in areas additional to the arts (e.g. community, health, environment).
  • Please note, as well as assessing each application on its own merits, the makeup of the whole cohort goes into our decision-making process. Arts House and the Advisory Group are interested in providing opportunities to a wide range of recipients, aiming to balance the different areas of interest, perspective, practice and backgrounds.

*please note feedback is not available on unsuccessful applications.


To be eligible for Makeshift Publics you must be available for dates listed below and be living in Victoria at the time of the program. If successful, you will be required to seek an Auspicing agency unless you can supply evidence of an ABN (Australian Business Number) and meet the Australian Taxation Office requirements, along with evidence of existing Public Liability Insurance of $20 million. Successful artist or their Auspicing agency are also obliged to meet their obligations regarding Superannuation, Holiday Pay and WorkCover.

  • The week beginning 22 March 2021
  • The week beginning 21 June 2021
  • The week beginning 25 October 2021
  • There will be an Open Day for Makeshift Publics on December 11th /12th 2021.
Please confirm you are available for all listed dates, you will be living in Victoria during the program and that you will seek auspice body or supply evidence of all appropriate above. * Required