The Regional Arts Fund (RAF) is an Australian Government program that supports sustainable cultural development in regional and remote Australia. The Fund is delivered on behalf of the Australian Government by Regional Arts Australia, arts ministries in the territories and the state Regional Arts Organisations – Arts ACT, Arts NT, Artslink Queensland (until April 2016), Country Arts SA, Country Arts WA, Regional Arts NSW, Regional Arts Victoria and Tasmanian Regional Arts.
Across Australia, these eight organisations managed a total of 1,458 individual projects.
Regional Arts Australia and the Regional Arts Organisations have particular local knowledge and a critical network of relationships based in rural, regional, remote and very remote Australia, resulting in the effective delivery of arts funding for the benefit of regional communities.
Regional Arts Australia played a vital role with Government in the establishment of the Regional Arts Fund in 1996. With its state-based member organisations, it has managed this fund since 2001, directly injecting more than $200 million in the form of RAF grants and locally-generated funds. This funding has supported regionally inspired arts projects and events that have contributed significantly to the improvement and enhancement of regional livelihoods.
The RAF is a devolved fund, meaning that the Commonwealth funds are devolved to the state and territory-based Regional Arts Organisations for the distribution of grants within states.