News & Insights

Makeshift Publics 2021

We've all had enough of 'unprecedented times'. We want unprecedented responses.

Makeshift Publics is an ambitious new program challenging artists to re-envision what public space means today.

This isn’t art that gazes inward but instead channels old wisdom, connects divided communities or speaks difficult but honest truth. Acknowledging artists as leaders, Makeshift Publics asks committed practitioners to explore new methods of rebuilding fundamentally disrupted social ecologies.

This stream of Arts House’s ongoing Makeshift program has been developed to directly respond to the situations we all face right now. In 2021 a group of 10 artists and 8 facilitators from a range of artistic fields will collaborate in peer-to-peer learning environments to unearth new configurations of the spaces we share, at the moment we find ourselves returning to these common spaces. This will be art that rethinks what it means to be a member of a public body, what it means to share public space and what it is that makes us a public.

To apply for the Makeshift Publics 2022-23 program, click here.


Read the following for more details:


Curatorial Framework

Meet the Facilitators

APPLICATIONS NOW CLOSED – See the selected artists here.

Key dates

EOI’s open |.9am 12 November 2020
EOI’s close | 12pm (midday) 4 December 2020
Notify and announce participants | from 15 December 2020
Program runs | March – December 2021

Format and Facilitators

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

Selected artists will receive $18,000 for the year’s participation in the program.

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. Read the curatorial framework here.

The 2021 Facilitator Group includes: Latai Taumoepeau, James Nguyen, Joel Spring, Madeleine Flynn, Fayen d’Evie, Sarah Scott, Hanna Cormick, Paola Balla. Meet the Facilitators.


We want you to apply in the format that is easiest for you. Responses can be written or uploaded as a video, audio file or Auslan video. You can submit these formats through the SmartyGrants application system. For Auslan submissions we can arrange interpretation of your video if needed. If you need to submit your application outside of the SmartyGrants system, please feel free to call, email or text – contact details below:

Tara Prowse | Arts House Producer
0447 570 178 (text only)
(03) 9322 3720

Watch the Auslan video about Makeshift Publics.

Watch the Auslan video about Makeshift Publics Accessibility.

Listen to the audio about Makeshift Publics.

Listen to the audio about Makeshift Publics Accessibility.

Read the plain text FAQs.

Read the plain text Curatorial Framework.


Key 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)

See Frequently Asked Questions here.

Got a question?

You can reach out to Arts House via:
0447 570 178 (text only)
(03) 9322 3720